Imagine seeing a deer for the first time in awhile. On a snowy or dry day. Along a road full of tall trees or in a park or a village where people and animals co-live. What would you do? Would you pause and take in the beauty. Its gaze, its tenderness, its stride or even its stillness. Or would you scream and run away. Your reality. Would you bravely watch from a distance, depending on your intent, how the deer sets its big eyes on you, moves to your movement, even with grace, all while making sense of your own reaction, your intent with the sighting. For one brief moment, the deer sees you too, a human, whose only purpose, at least to them, is to inflict pain, inflict death. A deer’s reality. Whatever the intent, whether purposeful or by accident, whether in joy or in the pain, the mere sighting of a deer, is much more important than the killing of it, your reaction to it. Seeing, regardless of your intent, leads to a reaction.
So too are the stories of motherhood along the margins, along the spaces of radical openness as the author Bell Hooks would describe it. Seeing motherhood for oneself leads to radical openness. My goal: To tell the stories, from my perspective, one at a time, 500 words a day, 3000 a week, until my I become the storyteller, a radically open one, for my generation of mothers with lives along the margins. Margins of work and family, race and racism, gender and sexism, overt or subtle, in sickness or in health, in silence or in survival, from my children’s lens or my thoughts, all with the grace for the hopes, grace to bear the struggles we encounter along the journey through life. Remembering key experiences, one story at a time, is the sighting, the doing, the perspective, the openness I hope to offer. Not as a prescription or a bag full of solutions, but a basket full of the possibilities and limits of motherhood. My tomorrow is uncertain, but for today, the mere sighting of a deer will do.