On change

“You must be a teacher too. Of agile exits and negotiations, of quick turns and pirouettes. Of all the inventive ways to go through life instead of banging it head-on. There is a deft elegance to the mother who has mastered this dance, the dance with no choreography. She is fluid and round. She smiles and laughs easily. She breezes along as though anything were possible. Like a child.”

I know who I am, we tell ourselves. I know what I need. This is the ego talking, the ego walking in a phony swagger to scare off the inevitable threats to its supremacy. Look out. Things change.”

“Hour by hour, I was merely exchanging one higher value for another, one imprisoning ethic for the next. I had joined the generations of women zagging between the either and the or. Being with my child is so important. Working is so important. Taking care of my family is so meaningful. My work is so meaningful. I should be here. I should be over there. I need to do this. I must do that. This is the right choice. No, that is the right choice. On and on, picking, choosing, evaluating, rationalizing, and often regretting.

“Momma Zen”, Karen Maezen Miller



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