Athenaeum, Boston, Massachusetts
I love the Athenaeum. I love spending days here, lost in the silence and the coating of whispered sounds that tingles my skin and soothes my mind. I love losing myself in the world of my thesis, fellowshipping with my sad, beautiful sisters across the centuries who desired usefulness for their Creator and gave themselves up for it. They feel like my friends, their voices so clear and challenging. They were platinum – priceless and hard.
I love being able to pick books off the endless shelves and find delight in them. Tonight I picked up a book of five hundred self-portraits and I could look at it all evening long. I love being able to walk out the door to grab lunch or dinner, and a coffee. I love the rain against the huge windows and I love the lights on Park Street. I love the romance of this place.
As I sit here enjoying my little pool of warm lamplight spreading across my wooden table, I sorrow over the reality that once I start having children, all of this will go away. The silence, the mental space, the communion with women across the centuries, the freedom, the romance. I no longer struggle to want to have those children that will take all of this away from me, but I still find myself mourning the inevitable.
Will I keep my mind? Will this world of thought that I have been building and growing dissipate like the morning dew? It feels too tenuous to remain – like it will disperse in an instant. Right now all of my thoughts, all of my ideas float with me throughout the day. But it seems hardly likely that they will be able to collect around me when there are other people connected to my being, my reality. The mists of thought will vanish, and in the light I'll look down to find a pack of little faces clinging to me for life, requiring me to die so that they can live.
They will be my parasites and I will love them. Lord Jesus, please help me to love them. Please enable me to delight in them, to find sublime joy in what will be required of me to give up for their sake. But please, Lord, please also don’t let all of this go away. Please, let me keep some small corner of mist. Let me retreat there every so often. Please don't take my mind away.
About the Project
This is a very personal project. It tracks my growth and development as I journeyed toward motherhood over the recent years. It doesn't document every experience I had, and probably neglects my more joyful and peaceful moments in the frenzy of trying to communicate my fears, anxieties, and doubts. If you are a friend or loved one, please do not let anything you read here overshadow what you know of me personally. If you are a stranger, please remember that a living and flawed person stands behind these words. To all my guests here, please understand these are not political statements and try to extend me grace, even as I share my failures and foibles - I have repented of much of what I share. I don't share this journal as an exemplar, but rather out of the desire to share my hope that entrance to motherhood does not need to be a fearful thing - despite the very real fears I have fought against. Motherhood is simply a part of life and one through which I am discovering more of myself and my God.