This is an unapologetic love song to my mother – artist of all artists – whose blood, sweat, and artistry gave birth to the existence that is me. This is an unapologetic love song to the artist, the woman – the thinking, feeling human being, whose extraordinary courage and vision brought nine children into the human fold (did she learn too late, the meaning the market place would attach to her work, and to her art?)
This is an unapologetic love song to that which is still not considered to be important enough, or newsworthy enough. This is an unapologetic love song written of that which is still not considered to be lucrative enough or profitable enough.
This is an unapologetic tribute to my mother’s hands – to the years of excessive work that left them raw and chaffed.
This is an unapologetic tribute to all that is rightfully hers – to all that we continue to insist cannot, and should not, be claimed on a serious professional or academic resume.
This is an unapologetic love song to the artist who is, and was, my mother – to the strength and design by which she held to her life; to the courage and conviction that was at the root of her brilliant artistry. This is an unapologetic tribute to all that was belittled, ignored, and patronized in her by my father, my church, and by the educational curriculum that dictated the nature and content of my schooling.
This is an unapologetic love song to my mother – masterful teacher – one who was never educated or trained in the area of Family Studies, Child and Youth Studies or Women’s Studies (- who is still not considered to be an expert in any of these fields).
This is an unapologetic love song to her who knew no financial bottom line – to her who received not a nickel – not a dime – of financial compensation for the years of artful mothering; for the years of back breaking labour, love and devotion.
This is an unapologetic tribute to my mother who knew that a “self” given over in sacrificial love, bears a hearty kind of fruit. This is a tribute to that kind of beauty.
This is an unapologetic tribute to one forced to live without mention, without accreditation, without authorization – without ever being the subject of passionate, intelligent-enough academic analysis.
This is an unapologetic love song to my mother, who held fast to her faith on the days the food ran out; who sat us in a circle the day our furniture was being repossessed and sang us songs of gratitude to God. This is a tribute to my mother who taught us how to stay faithful to ourselves; to our word, and to our god.
This is an unapologetic love song written for one who was forced to endure without resources, understanding, affirmation or compassion.
This is an unapologetic tribute to her who, for years, stood to face the harsh elements of the world. With a fistful of wooden pins and a mind intent on reorganizing the world, she stood up to the wind and the rain on the worst of our days -and not for the sake of enslavement or female servitude, but for the sake of that which burned inside her – for the sake of her love – the artistry at the centre of her mothering practice.
This is an unapologetic tribute to one who lived for a different kind of bottom line.