Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a safety net of helpers to hold a writer in place long enough to snag a poem. For the last six years, my father has taken my children on Fridays so I can write (for a good number of those years, joined by his wife Robyn). Each Friday, when I hear their car approaching up the drive, my youngest son and I waiting on the front steps under the redwoods, I feel such gratitude for the writer’s life I get to indulge in while raising children.
I wrote “She dressed in a hurry” (for Lady Di; up currently at http://www.salomemagazine.com/) during a week my father was out of town. I’d realized how vital Fridays were to my sanity and cooked up a childcare trade with my mom friend Maureen. I took my two year old, my writing folder, and a lukewarm cup of tea over to her house. That rainy morning the farthest my son allowed me to go was the bedroom, door ajar, where he could hold a boxcar in his fist and keep en eye trained on me. Maureen gave up on convincing me to escape to one of the cabins on her property, moved aside the stack of papers for her non-profit work on the small desk at the foot of her bed, and cheerily went about making apple sauce with our two sons.
Maureen’s husband—just like mine would have done--drifted into the bedroom once or twice, apologizing profusely, looking for a raincoat, a hat, and yet the poem held on, more or less down on the page by the end of the two hours, born amidst the sounds of living, as so much of a mother’s writing is....laptop in the kitchen, steam from the lentils on the stove wreathing the ceiling, the steady corrugated roll of scooters and tricycles on the deck outside. Thank you Dad and Robyn. Thank you Maureen and Faik for the room that morning, for your love for the children.
I’m thrilled to have found Salome Magazine (I believe the tip-off came via Ethel Rohan—a pithy, engaging writer I met at a women's writing conference last year. Her website: http://www.straightfromtheheartinmyhip.blogspot.com/.)
A quote from Salome Magazine’s site, under the “covenant” link reads (of course worth reading it in its entirety):
Mostly, I wanted to take a look at what has become of The New Woman's evil twin -- the post-feminist woman. Today our familiar friend wakes up at age 35 only to realize that she has put her education and career first and is frantically trying to outrace menopause. She has finally acquired the husband, the house, the golden retriever, and the sports utility vehicle, and she's ready to start a family. But on the domestic side of life, she has some catching up to do. Does she cook, clean, sew, or iron? Of course not. Her life is way too busy for that. She eats take-out six nights a week, tips her cleaning woman, drops her clothes off at the dry cleaner and is running all the time. Is she happy? Has she really fulfilled her dreams? What solutions are there for finding balance in our lives? This is the crux of Salome Magazine.
Salome as a mythological character ties into these goals of reinvention as a revolutionary figure. As women we are still objects of sexual desire. We are participating in this "dance" as a matter of course, but we are also preparing our demands and revisiting our desires. My vision for this website is to create an safe online sanctuary where intelligent women may read weekly submissions, consider them, and provide thoughtful and respectful feedback on the issues and opinions discussed herein. Let us forge a community and come to our own individual and communal understanding about our authentic and rich veritable experiences as modern women.
I hope you’ll consider submitting work to Salome Magazine--or joining the conversation in their “chamber.”