Mother. Daughter. Mother.
We all have a mother. She might have been present at your every ball game and attended every scraped knee. If so, you likely are filled with overwhelming love and warmth when you think of her. To make her proud is your greatest wish.
She might have neglected or even actively hurt you. She might have given you up for someone else to raise in what might have been the ultimate act of love. You might love her unabashedly, or you might struggle to love her at all.
Motherhood is a never-ending chain. We’re all linked by motherhood, whether it’s as a child or as a mother ourselves. If we are mothers of daughters, the connection is physically miraculous at even another level; we carried the very eggs of our grandchildren in our own wombs when we bore our girls. The lullabies we sang, the harsh admonitions, the gentle encouragements, all those words were spoken not only to our daughters, but to the promise of their own children.
In the world of language, there is a linguistic phenomenon called mother-daughter languages. A daughter language is a descendant of a mother language from before, which may also be descended and again, back thousands of years, through multiple permutations. English has three mother languages tracing back Millenia.
The greatest English playwright said, “What’s past is prologue.”
We are the product of the communication that has come before: the spoken word, the unspoken judgements, the touches, the songs. Notes in lunchboxes, diaries written and read, late night pillow chats, frustrated arguments over short skirts or cluttered rooms.
Messy, wild, consuming, error-ridden words defining mother-daughter relationships can be sources of such joy and sorrow.
At this site, I am making a home for mothers and their adult daughters, fulfilling a great mission that was set in my heart the day I realized the wound of my mother, whose own addiction and mental illness made her struggle to love well. When I first held my own daughters, I resolved to do the work to love them in a way that would grant courage born from a solid foundation. I was imperfect. Many times. But my girls are now young women. One is single and living a creative life in Los Angeles, the other is now the mother of two, with her own little pigtailed girl. They are happy. They are strong.
They are my friends.
My relationship with my own mother was never healed, never resolved in her lifetime. But she left a legacy anyway: a daughter with the determination to be a good mother. And I have been, to my daughters and to my son. But mother-son is not my work. It was not where my deepest hurt lay. No, that hurt, that work, had to be done in the feminine sphere.
I’ll be sharing my own story, certainly. But I will also be looking for stories of other mothers and daughters whose languages are complex, riddled sometimes with thorns and sometimes with dandelion fluffs, where lullabies and rock anthems have equal airtime.
I hope we’ll create community and connections; I’ll look for books, resources, and tools and search for symbolic treasures we can carry in our spirit pockets: stones that smooth worry, feathers that remind us of flight, shells that whisper the voice of the Divine One in our ears.
Mother to Daughter. Daughter to Mother. Friend to Friend.
I hope you’ll join me.