I love this campaign – everything about it makes my heart soar. Dance, emancipation, empowerment, gracefulness, photography, and the soundtrack by Pherrall Williams. I love dance, as a human expression. Of particular resonance is the way that she is helping to raise self-esteem through dance. Subtle and so beautiful. Everyone can dance if they can walk. Even if you can’t walk you can still be stirred to move by music.
‘Describe impact of her words?/her work to my life../feelings of her readings!/lumps of unspoken words swelling my throat/her words articulated delivered/pricked my mind’s unformed ideas/shook establishment from complacent chairs/held steady eyes of uncomfortable stares/her body a theatre of one/bold colours brave voice/honesty of ancestors/visions, dark sorrows of night/will of oak/bright green leaves/it’s going to be alright.’
When my daughter turned 25, it got me thinking about all of the stages of motherhood and how it changes you. It’s one of those ‘milestone’ birthdays and I found myself reminiscing about what I was doing at 25 and how I felt about life, as well as thinking about how fast the years had flown by. I remembered her birth so clearly (emergency c- section, not instantly forgettable) but the intervening years seemed to be flashed along in a blur of parents evenings, stroppy teens and sunny holidays in Cornwall. Quite a few of my poem in Songs of My Soul are inspired by the gift of motherhood: the demands it makes and pleasures it provides.
The poem in Songs of My Soul is called Mother Light and begins…
‘the light of a new mother’s moonlight
bathes her infant in protective mum-beams…
the last few lines read:
‘Time rushes forward like wind
your baby’s metamorphosis is complete.’
Because it does feel like that – a complete change of identity and visual appearance – I’m sure part of the reason parents stare at their kids so much is because of how fast they change – it’s like watching one of those movies where a recognisable character suddenly transmogrifies into an other worldly being. It’s both shocking and surprising.
Songs of My Soul could be described as an ode to motherhood, but wider than that, an ode to living and life itself and what it means to give life to another and how it feels to lose the life of a loved one. Deep, I know. That’s probably why I love poetry, it shines a spotlight on the very fundamental questions of our existence.
What has your experience of motherhood been, and did it inspire you to try something new, do something brave? If you’re a writer, how has motherhood inspired or changed you?