Momma Zen

I just ordered this book for my friend Molly.  I can’t even tell you how many people I’ve ordered this book for–that’s how much it got to me.

Oddly enough, I found it tucked into a Poets & Writers article (which, if you’re a writer, you should be subscribing to) called “Writer as Parent: No More Aching to be Artist” by Dan Barden.  Barden was acting as the full-time caregiver for his children and was also trying to find time to write.  His frustrations were somewhat relieved by the ideas in this book.  Believe me, I snapped up the book before I finished the article, then bit my nails down waiting for the copy to come in the mail.

The author is a Zen priest and mother.  You can find her website here.  Thing is: you don’t have to be a mother or a Zen master to enjoy the book.  Her principles work for anyone who is experiencing stress in everyday life.

I’m forty.  My husband and I are about to adopt a little girl from the Ukraine.  It’s exciting and terrifying all around.  I think I go back to the pressures and terrors of my childhood (I was the eldest of seven) and wonder if there is another way to grow up, if there’s another way of discipline.  I wonder if my daughter will love me when she grows up.  I wonder if I will be a good parent.  I wonder if I will be able to balance the mommy aspect with the writing aspect.

You see, it’s been quite paralyzing for me.  But Miller took this fear and led me into the wonder of this very spiritual act that I’m embarking upon.  Honestly, her book opened my eyes and made me wonder, for the first time, if maybe there was another way.  A peaceful, in-the-moment kind of way, knowing that it’s all right if you’re not feeling up to the task.

And for that, I’m eternally grateful.  I’m looking forward to meeting this little person and just being with her in every moment of every day.

One Comment

  1. […] whatever happens will happen, and I’ll do my very best to be Momma Zen about it all (again, see previous post on Momma Zen if you’re […]

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The quote I live by

Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.
--Rainer Maria Rilke in Letters to a Young Poet

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