Bicyclist’s Philosophy of Life

In the novel, Clara and Mr. Tiffany, written by Susan Vreeland, Clara says, “You know, bicycling isn’t just a matter of balance. It’s a matter of faith. You can keep upright only by moving forward. You have to have your eyes on the goal, not the ground. I’m going to call that the Bicyclist’s Philosophy of LIfe.” (p. 144).


Intriguing Quote

“I never want to learn that you ‘don’t know,’ Maisie, I want to know what you think the answer is to the question. The more it troubles you, the more it has to teach you. In time, Maisie, you will find that the larger questions in life share such behavior” (104).

–Winspear, Jacqueline. Maisie Dobbs. Penguin Books: New York, 2003.

Comments from readers of Mother!

There were four poems in particular that really resonated with me, “A New Morse Code,” “My Son” (my favorite), “My Arms Won’t Let Go,” and “Almost a Year Old.”  I found myself a little teary eyed at times reading them as your words and imagery really captured a lot of the feelings I have experienced when my kids were smaller and it really made me miss those days when they were babies.   I really like the part in “My Son” when you say “you, who have made my love rise, a full river flooding the bank of my heart, my son, my precious son.” I just thought that perfectly describes a mother’s love for her child.  I also really liked the part in “My Arms Won’t Let Go” when you talk about all the tasks that you could be doing lined up “like un-assembled parts on a conveyor belt.”  That is exactly how I feel most of the time!  I am trying to turn it off (or at least slow it down!) and choose instead to “walk” and try and savor my kids’ youth.  I will treasure these collection of poems and I’m sure each time I read it (as my kids are in different stages) I will relate to them a little differently.

— Melody, Minneapolis

I was particularly struck by the “Hallway between Two Doors” and the mixed emotions of excitement for motherhood and nostalgia for the passing phase of your life. I remember feeling that very vividly, recognizing that once Theo arrived that part of my life was forever closed, even if for the better.

I also loved the sentiment of the poem “My Arms Won’t Let Go.” While there are times when I yearn to put Theo down to sleep, there are other times I just want to hold him and look at him, even though there is so much more to do than I can ever seem to get done these days. But I know that these times when I can fit him in the nook of my arm will pass by so quickly, and while there are pictures and ways to capture it, there is not quite a camera that can capture the exact angle and all the senses that go along with Theo asleep in my arms.

Anyway, thanks for putting words to a lot of the sentiments of motherhood.

–Meredith, Boston