“The poetics of fragility” and motherhood

“A strong women is also sometimes strongly fed-up” voiced Angela Davis. As these words written by Lata Man were being pronounced , my heart felt heard. Yes, I am strong and yes, right now I am sooo strongly fed-up!

“The poetics of fragility” premiered last sunday in Oakland. I was grateful to be amongst the fierce women in the audience. This film awakened the reality of time, the awareness of pain, the truth of age, the unquestionable strength, the unthinkable before the lived experience, the unbearable weightiness of memory lost. It was a wake up call, an echo, a reminder. I am fragile like every other strong being. In this very moment of my life, I am very fragile AND very strong for “a spider’s web endures storms combining strength and fragility” remind us Lata.

My current fragility comes from the conditions in which I am determined to complete this scholarly work. My strength comes from the beauties of my life : my faith, my baby, my love, my friends, my family, my mentors, my dreams, every thing in my life is magical. I know I am still dizzy from the change of plans in my support system while completing my PhD. We still made it work last week, being present for my presentation, a welcoming reception on Campus, business meetings, and Sirat’s regular activities. From time to time I had to use my secret breast weapon to calm her down whenever I had to focus or to articulate a thought while she is requesting attention. Yes, I am still breastfeeding my 26 month old daughter. I cherish these moments with her. It makes me feel strong.

I am a healthy mother. I wake up every day with the ability to play, dance, sing, eat and build fun memories with Sirat. Yet I feel fragile in this very moment. To be honest since she was born, the idea of me dying shows up from time to time. That idea of me not being there for her haunts me. What would happen to her life? Who would whisper to her ear ‘I love you’?

Fragility makes me read life more carefully. I am more aware of what comes on my way, like this film. Cherrie Moraga invited me to the screening. Does it matter? Yes, it does because it was the answer to a prayer and a timely gift in the challenging experience I was going through. An incredible invitation guided by a divine power. This art work guided me towards a door of awareness of time, us, fragility, love, fears, creativity. My door had a specific name : motherhood.

Sirat was the only child in the audience. She was there with me for the screening, like she has been with me in every gathering — meeting — reception — training — dinner — business — leisure trip since she was born. Yes, it sounds crazy and when I think about it, sometimes, I wonder how we made it work. Then I am reminded that this is simply our life; this is how we live. This is how she is the special 2 year old little girl she is today.

I am used to being in public with her so we did like we always do: bring a little bag with some toys she choose before leaving the house. We laid them on her colored mexican blanket and after one minute we were informed we couldn’t sit on the floor. So I stood up to watch the film and to play with her. She was watching and commenting on the ocean and the birds. Some people gave us THE look, most had a smile, one person even came and apologized for this non-child friendly space. We didn’t care. We have been the only mom and child in most spaces. We were whispering to each other words. She was whispering to my ears “I love you mama” with the sweetest voice.

As I feel in my lower back and in my whole body the stress of this time, I choose to close my eyes, breath and laugh. I am a mother. I was a mother while being every other thing I did for the past two years. When I look around me, I realize this is not the common definition of Motherhood but it is mine.

The words of Cherrie Moraga resonates when she mentions in the film the physical fragility, we are fragile and strong. Motherhood taught me that. I am different. There is no going back to the “me” of before. I entered a new realm, one in which my writing will have to find another flow. Another way of coming out than the quietness of the library and the fresh morning energy. It will have to be messy, it will have to be alive. This is how it will happen.