Jun 21, 2006

two recent poems on being a buddhist mom

[for Tashi]

Respirator Bubbles
Monitor flashes as IV drips
Fontanelle rises and falls.

Modern Mothering
[for mothers on the day that bears their name]

Are you ready for long term madness?
The experts agree that
Life may never be the same again.
But why attempt to step backward
When the only move possible is forward?
The Buddha and Heraclitus agree
You can't step into the same river twice.

Here is what I know
Not what I necessarily want.
There is no black market in sleep,
No method of storing calmness
No bore well of rest I can dig,
No advance of sanity to pay down.
No way, really,
To prepare for the chaos.

Mothering is
The best I can and will do,
Completely unprepared.


This is blog about birth, buddhism, and biomedicine. I'm a literary mama interested in birthing from a Buddhist perspective. My first book, Being a Buddhist Nun, covered the life of Buddhist nuns, while this book is about Buddhist Moms. I will be researching Buddhist birthing practices in the Himalayas for the next year, with toddler twins in tow. It am interested in how Buddhism and biomedicine shape birthing practices in the Zangskar region of the Indian Himalayas as birth moves from the home into the hospital. The blog will cover Buddhist and biomedical perspectives on birthing in Zangskar. I will write about women who gave birth at home and those who do so in the hospital, as well as the doctors and midwives who attend these births. What are the main concerns these women have and where do they agree or disagree? I hope to look at birth from a number of perspectives, so that a single narrative, Rashomon-like, fragments into many stories, each equally valuable.