Maiden Mother Crone

Failure. It’s an interesting word/concept/insult/description/tag. I used it about myself in my last post and, as a consequence, received some comments and private messages from friends wanting to make sure I realised I wasn’t a failure. The message that touched me most was from an ex-boyfriend from more than a decade ago who reminded me that I’d been a great step-mother to his then very small children and how was that failure? It made me cry, partly because I suppose I’d forgotten that I’d ever been so involved with those beautiful children for several years, and because those few years were like what I imagine motherhood on roids might be like, but mostly because this man had acknowledged what I’d done and thanked me for it. Step-motherhood is hard. Getting up in the middle of the night and rocking a screaming child back to sleep, telling them that their mother (who hated me with an intensity that, to this day, makes me shudder) loved them and they’d see her really soon, was not in any guidebook on womanhood I’d ever read. But step-motherhood is another story for another time.

Failure. I love that people who love me, and even some people who barely know me, wanted me to know that they didn’t think I was a failure. It’s just that, I think sometimes it feels right and good to do a gigantic all-over-body-and-soul-shake and say ‘gosh I failed at that!’. I tried to get pregnant and I failed. I tried to get my book published and I failed. I don’t think I’m a failure. I just failed at ticking a few important things off my list. It doesn’t mean I’m not going to try to succeed at these things again, it just feels good to acknowledge those raw, dark, shadow-side feelings that scream FAIL FAIL FAIL deep within so they hold less power, take up less room, and enable me to shake them off and not hide the dark stuff so much.

It’s taken me a long time to realise that the dark stuff is often the good stuff. When you acknowledge the dark stuff deep healing takes place and a much more holistic acceptance of oneself starts to arise. This is so important for me. This is what 2012 is all about for me. Accepting all the bits of myself: the dark bits, the bits that feel like failure, the bisexual bits, the creative bits, the fecund bits, the funny bits, the annoying bits, the amazing, inspiring bits. I’ve always wanted to present the ‘best’, shiniest bits to the world, but I am more than the sheen on my achievements. I am maiden and mother and crone, all. I am all the songs of all the women who ever walked this place. Like you are, and you are, and you, and you.



August 18, 2012 · 2:41 am

12 responses to “Maiden Mother Crone

  1. Hell YES!!! As Leonard says, the cracks are how the light gets in, and without the dark we wouldn’t know what light is. I think in this society we try too hard to pretend the dark doesn’t exist. But life isn’t shiny and clean and’s dirty and tough and it hurts a lot sometimes, and it’s never ever perfect…except that it IS, in that weird, skewed off-centre way that imperfect things are also perfect. It’s also beautiful and magical and joyous. There is treasure to be found hidden in the dark, if we’re not too scared to head into the labyrinth to find it. And I think that’s what writers and artists, and musicians and actors, and storytellers and singers, are here to do. Head down into the dark and bring back that treasure to share. Hold tight to the thread and follow it back into the light!


  2. PG

    Love Christina’s comment!!!! I agree of course.

    It’s funny, Simonne, I will never forget a conversation we had years ago with you sobbing at me that you’d finally got this failure shit, because you were doing what you were meant to do….succeeding at failing. To learn the lesson. It was a profound thought for me and one I revisit often. So bloody good on you, celebrating the shadow. It’s so powerful. It, too, took me years to project anything but awesomeness to the world, and fuck it’s less exhausting holding up that image of perfection. Love this post….I so relate. Love that you’re writing more ….and again and again!!!!!!! Xoxox


    • I remember that so well! What a revelation that was for me. Now it’s time to move on from that lesson and get cracking with the doingess of the good stuff whilst using the ‘bad’, dark stuff as the grist for my mill!!


  3. Dawn

    Simonne there are so many things you’ve been spectacularly good at – like stepmothering. You were awesome and were a stable part of those kids lives when they really needed it and I’m glad that lovely man said so. I think your honesty is a breath of fresh air and then allows others to say things they otherwise might not have said. xxxx


  4. Chris

    It feels like one of the best things about growing older really is the shrugging off that responsibility to only show the best of yourself – the kicking in of the Idontgiveashitwhatothersthink reflex. It’s almost a cliche but to feel it because you’re there makes all the difference. Besides, as you say there’s a big difference between failure and not succeeding yet…


  5. Simonne, you are brave and lovely. These posts are fine stuff ๐Ÿ˜€ Thank you for digging deep.


  6. Jen

    It’s the dark times that truly define us, methinks. Too right on that one – you do have to visit Hades in order to come out a changed person, and leave some stuff behind.

    I’ve been changing my own rather black and white view of failure and allowing more of a grey-area approach… instead of saying ‘I failed at motherhood’, I find myself now saying that motherhood didn’t work out in my favour. There are too many variables to the big-ticket items, I’ve discovered, so I don’t think saying I failed allows for all that anymore. It’s an interesting approach, but it feels good to me.


  7. Yep, I see that, Simonne, and I can only agree with you and everyone else here. It’s important to embrace failure, and not just to break its ribs.


Leave a reply, start a conversation - go on, you know you want to!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s