by Lissa Carter

You have changed.

See how you’ve been creased,
and bent, and worried over,
folded and unfolded along
those same relentless lines.

See how those inner brilliances get
caught, papered over with so
many enclosing demands
forced into a foreign geometry

Which will fit? So weary—
can this be right?
can this be right?

And yet—

Feel the divine out-breath
rounding you, opening, lightening,
shaping inner emptiness,
a blessing, dimension:

rising from flat form to
filled cup–

In folding, you expand!

And now the future lifts its light onto the past
Mixes color in the grayscale of ancestors stretching back, back,

Holding out their hands until this language
becomes native

Until you have always belonged here.

See how there was never any lessening at all?

See how this relentless beauty you made

made you?

above: folding an oragami box

photos by Samuel Brooks Murphy and Elise Murphy 

Of course as mothers, we are bending and folding along relentless and yet mysterious lines all the time. Our roles as mothers require much shaping and re-shaping of selves, family, meals, homes, schedules, celebrations, struggles, activities, homework, cuddles, stories and so much more. All the while, the teaching of our parents, friends, children and personal experiences guide us, as we daily find our own way, hoping we are doing it “right.”

– Julie King Murphy


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