A week ago I started to have unusual pain in my neck and shoulder blades. "Perhaps throat chakra - birthing energy" a trusted advisor suggested. And when it reappeared as I sat in my chair on Tuesday I held it as such - something is birthing.

And there did indeed seem to be something brewing. I cannot say more than that.

And then the world felt like it stopped.

It felt like this:

"There is nothing to say.

There is nothing to write.

There is no space or reason for this writing.

It is over.

The work of my mentors and teachers undone.

The hope of progress dashed.

Our leader felled in battle."

And then, all of a sudden, labour was over.

And the baby had been born.

And it is screaming.

And what does the new mother do?

Holds the baby.

Feeds the baby.





With no control over the outcome the mother cares for her infant.

The fact of the infant becoming the defining feature of her life for a time.

And so we must get up.

And take up the work to which we have been called.

We listen more closely. Open our hearts more widely (however much it hurts).

Think more precisely.

Write with stronger verbs and adverbs.

Craft with more care, clean with more relish, cook even juicier meals.

Care for each other with more attention.

We take up the work to which we have been called and we do it.

Some children are not planned. Some mother-child relationships are uneasy. Some children are born ill. And mothers, too, they fall ill sometimes. Some new mothers are thrown into unexpected circumstances of all kinds.

And yet. If we do not pick up the baby, the baby will cry alone. Hungry, cold and unsoothed.

Mothering stretches us beyond our ideas of who we are.

These past years I have been on a jagged and bumpy path towards surrender. Not submission but surrender (thank you Emmanuel Ghent).

If we listen and if we persevere… Through the darkest most hopeless times when life does not seem to want itself… When we are flayed... If we listen and persevere through these times... If we stay on the edge of life... Eventually - love will flow.

This is not sentiment. Love is in our cells - it is life. And our encounter with life is our encounter with love.

And so my dear dear readers. Now and to come.

I pledge to you my heart and my life. My heart which is accompanied by so much and so many. My life which is not my own.

I pledge to you my honest speaking.

And I pledge to you my love. Including how very very much that hurts.