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Thursday, May 19, 2005

Blog Beginning

So this is my first day of blogging, a new form of communication for me. My friend Miriam Peskowitz recommended that I give it a try since she has had a good experience promoting her new book The Truth Behind the Mommy Wars through her blog My first impulse, I have to confess, was purely selfish; I also want to promote my book Imperfect Serenity when it is published. But as I’ve surveyed other blogs, I’ve started to get excited about the idea of meeting and sharing ideas with other people through this new forum.

Just setting up the page has been thought-provoking. How do I describe who I am in two sentences? Am I a religious writer who happens to write about motherhood, or a motherhood writer who happens to be religious? If I describe myself as religious, or say that I’m Quaker, will I scare off potential readers who would probably resonate with my ideas but who feel alienated from traditional religion, as I was for many years? If I use the word spiritual in my description instead, will people really know what I mean? I suppose the uncertainty is part of what makes this interesting. It’s like planning a dinner party menu without knowing who the guests will be.

Mostly I like to write about my ongoing struggle to put my ideals into practice. In my book proposal for Imperfect Serenity (which is currently being read by publishers) I describe myself as “a Quaker who opposes war but who occasionally wants to pummel her children, an environmentalist who drives laps around the neighborhood to get her baby to sleep, and a stay-at-home feminist mother who wants to surrender her selfishness without losing herself.” (My children have grown a bit since I first wrote that: they no longer nap, and I’m no longer home full-time, but I’m still full of contradictions.) I believe that facing our own imperfections is an important part of spiritual growth, and motherhood has certainly illuminated my imperfections. Although many religious classics written by celibate men recommend solitude as the route to self-knowledge, I’ve found that a cranky toddler can show us our flaws at least as effectively as a desert retreat.

When I’m in the heat of some conflict with my kids, I often don’t realize what I’m learning, until later when I try to articulate it. That’s why writing is so important to me; it gives me a chance to make sense of things. So these pages will be a place for me to share what I’m learning about life and a place where you can share what you’re learning. Hopefully, we can learn from each other.


Blogger Liz Opp said...

Welcome, Eileen, to the blogging world. Quaker bloggers especially seem to have their own brand of blogging, but I suppose that could be said about maternal bloggers, too.

I know you've already visited my blog, along with a few others. Sounds like you'll be in good company.

Liz, The Good Raised Up

12:01 AM  

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