Dr. Christiane Northrup and Evelyn Resh show up to help.

Light Divine Clarity

“I’ve missed more than nine thousand shots in my basketball career. I’ve lost almost three hundred games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my life, but I still keep going out on the court. And that’s why I succeed.”

– Michael Jordan

Winter Berkshires

But all the good timing in the world won’t matter unless you set a goal, do the work, and consistently put yourself out there.
That’s not luck, that’s consistency.
If you want to maximize your luck, be sure you are always working, so that when a wave of good timing comes, you will be in position to make the most of it.
~ Christina Katz

Bubbles Winter 2013 by Suzi Banks Baum

“I’ve got my mornings blocked off every day for work,” says Austin Kleon. ” I come out to my studio, I meditate for 10 minutes, get in the zone, and then I write three pages on a legal pad by hand to get warmed up. You could call it free writing, probably. It’s not very directed. It’s half journal, half me trying to figure out what I’m trying to work on for the day. Then I do one of my newspaper blackout poems. Then the rest of the morning if I have a longer piece of writing I’m working on, I’ll work on that. As long as I’ve got my pages and do a poem, I’ll feel like I’ve gotten my ‘work with a capital W’ done. As my old creative writing teacher used to say, it’s just about applying ass to chair.”

How many times do I need to be reminded that everything I desire to excel at,

be it mothering my daughter or making a collage, writing this blog or being a soulful parent to my son, all of it takes time and practice?

My in-box was awash with thoughts about things taking time, repeated effort and dedication this morning.
Having had a rather rough patch in the kitchen, I hauled out Dr. Christiane Northrup’s book Mother Daughter Wisdom to console myself after having absolutely nothing to say to my daughter who was sunk in pre-menstrual agony about a topic I will let her tell you about some day, but I am sure other mothers wallow around in too.
I have been carrying Evelyn Resh’s book, The Secret Lives of Teen Girls around with me. Lighter in volume than Dr. Northrup’s book, but equally comforting, Evelyn concurs with Christiane that if I want to deliver my messages to my kids in the clearest manner possible, then I have do model everything. Eat celery instead of chips. Go to bed at nine. Put my phone down for hours at a time. Pick up my socks. Write thank you notes. Do my work early. Speak kindly and pause before anger. Notice the moon in the trees at dawn, clinging to night before dissolving in to lavender air.

Sniffing after my children like a basset hound just waiting for an opportunity to advise is not going to endear me to them, nor will it give my messages a chance at being received with an ounce of openness.

So, I have to shut up and do my work. Which is what brings me to this page. And the ideas captured above, about doing work allow me to sanction time to write, here, to write, because like it or not, I am a mother who is also an artist. If I take the criticism weighed at me by a hungry 16 year old with PMS and homework, I will have to agree that my work may not have the urgency of a mother in Syria right now, holding on to her child’s life without medical support, or a mother in Fukushima waiting, just waiting to see how her children will grow having lived though radiation, or a mother with addicted teens sitting in a jail- no I am none of those women, but I stand for them and the possibility that they may one day find the tools to tell their stories. And until that time, I will tell my stories. And lead writing workshops. And open myself to be of service of others finding their voices.

It is one thing to have to convince the world of the value of women’s voices. It is entirely another to convince my daughter of this fact. I may be passingly interesting to her. But, here in my beating heart where the insides of my cells are coated in morning moonlight, I say to that silvery orb,

Contain me, 
Lick me with light and illumine this chamber
Until there is no darkness here. 
Keep me company as I step round this prickly beast
And lavish what love I can
Upon her powdered brow. 
Let me be light
Simply by shining.
Let my love come
Without forcing.

Thank you for spending this time with me here.
Please subscribe to Laundry Line Divine in the little box on the upper right column of this site.
All my best,


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Showing 8 comments
  • pippa @storyofmum

    So much beauty in this post Suzi. Thank you for the reminders and for continuing to create xx

    • Suzi Banks Baum

      Good morning Pippa! I have been thinking of you so much. Thank you for sharing this post. Wish we could have tea and a walk today. Many hugs to you, S

  • Ali

    this hit home this morning Suz…truly what we model is what sinks into their souls. Hardest when the “pricklies” come out though!

  • Lorrin Krouss

    I loved the quote from Kristina Katz – thank you for that. But raising teenagers – especially girls — is one of the most difficult tasks a mother faces. Our girls are 45, 41 and 36 —- and I can still remember as if it was yesterday most of our arguments. Often, it was as if my words just bounced off an inpenetrable wall. There were issues over not eating, eating too much, what to wear, where to go, boyfriends, girlfriends, good grades, failed tests, acceptance and rejection. It has taken years (probably off my life), but now and only now that they have children of their own, do I finally feel as if I am a Lottery winner – because the prize is indeed mine. They are now coming to me for advice. I guess the fact that I apparently embarassed them with some outfit I wore in front of their friends or something stupid they thought I said while driving carpool, no longer matters. Hang in there ladies, the best is yet to come.

  • Coleen Davidson

    S. As always so honest and thoughtful, thanks for sharing. xo C.

    • Suzi Banks Baum

      I was just quoting you my dear! I hope you send me anything you’d like to share again with the OUT series. Your vibrant vision is always welcome there. xoxo S

  • Tania Pryputniewicz

    Suzi, bathed in morning moonlight we persevere. Thank you for the book titles…will be picking those up…loved how you wrote your way to the calming, balancing realization that helping others write their stories matters, no matter what else is going on, and there always is so much going on…a thick field of interactions, psychic and physical. Also loved to read Lorrin’s promise below that it gets better, as I cut my teeth on teenage maelstroms, shocked by the intensity of the feelings I allow to get stirred inside my heart, home, car.

    • Suzi Banks Baum

      do you hear my head nodding.
      Lorrin is beaming comfort, for sure.
      Icy silence this morning.
      But spring is coming.