I’m happy to have filmed Maia’s lyrical rewrite of Athena’s birth. Countering Hesiod’s long believed account, Maia feels that Athena was made of raccoons and loved riding horses through the sea as well as over hills. I regret not capturing the song my then three-year-old belted out just before this one. In the same spirited voice she sang, “I’m going to Hades/ I’m going to Hades/ Yes, I’m going to Hades/ To visit Persephone!”
My daughter Maia loves Greek mythology. I love that she sings happily – and loudly enough for all the neighbors to hear – of Hades. As I grudgingly admit that I’m less left, more establishment, I appreciate Maia’s edge. Continue reading
Motherhood makes for much reflection. My world view shifted when I began to look at life for someone else as well as for myself. That shift hasn’t been as selfless as it might sound, though. Motherhood is as much about me as it is my daughters.
And about my body. More intimate than I could have imagined, breastfeeding has me marveling. Conceiving and caring for a child is the stuff of gods: to create and admire and even sustain life.
Or rather, it’s the stuff of goddesses. Because we’re talking about breasts. Continue reading
My two-year-old daughter Eve says she loves me.
Really, Eve sings, “I la-la Mommy. I la-la Mommy.” For her, love is a song. Is it taking the metaphor too far to follow with something embarrassingly predictable like, “And my heart sings”?
One day, Eve will probably shrink at my sentimentality here. Because I do, too, it’s easy to forgive her upcoming adolescent eye rolling.
But Eve’s song is beautiful. I wonder why sentimentality is perpetually passé, the stuff of so-called low art? A sometimes academic and always a bibliophile, I understand the literary reaction to 18th c. sentimental novels. But that backlash happened two hundred years ago. We’ve since read a lot of realism. So why is sentimentality still considered a simplicity for the masses? Continue reading