Wednesday, 8 June 2011


There are days when nothing goes to plan.  Time goes too quickly and the allotted space of time I have to do my work is just not long enough.  Days when I feel too tired, from sleep disturbed by a small soul joining us.  Days when I don't feel good enough at anything.  Those days I wonder what life is all about as I fall short as wife, mother, artist.  Then I found this poem:

i began as the mother of babes.

and i mean that, for i was born then, too.
all of the me that had begun,
the wonderings and wanderings of my first three decades,
melted away in the faces of those new babies
and i was born anew.

i spent the next decade tending.
and tending, i did well. it was my thing, apparently.

i grew into it, and i loved every minute.
you know that to be a gentle lie.
there were quite a few minutes of awful.  of anguish, even.
and so much comedy, uncertainty, dishevelment.
you know.

but now...
some of my babes are almost grown.
do not kid yourself about how quickly that happens.
do not kid yourself and do not miss a second wishing those
wonderfully intense, delicious early years away.

for it happens even as you are watching them.
they grow.

and as much as you need to lose yourself to care for those newborn babes, those littles-
when they have grown to your size almost-when their feet may be as big!-
it is then that you need to find yourself again.
you need to grow.

for then, as they come upon ten; at twelve maybe...fourteen certainly;
then you must find yourself in order to know how to guide them.  you must be the you
that you want to be,
so that the you they are growing up against and alongside, is the you that you want them to know.

for here's the thing:

in the end,
what you want for them most of all is to leave you.
to leave your house to become who they will be.
and when they are gone
who do you want to be left with?

my wish is that my own answer
is the me that was born out of mothering them.
and the man that's loved me all along the way.

by Tara Thayer

...and it instilled faith in me.  Faith to continue on this journey, faith that I am being true to myself and faith that I am enough....that I have enough love and energy to go round, and maybe I can take some of that for myself without guilt, or fear of failure.  

Today David and I have been together for fourteen years.  In that time we have supported each other to follow our dreams and we have achieved so much!  Top of the list are our beautiful children.  Recently heavy clouds have hung in front of my eyes but today I'm hanging out a rainbow to celebrate everything wonderful about our life together.


Jennifer Tetlow said...

Happy Anniversary! What powerful and beautiful words - it is knowing the sun is there, whether it is cloudy or not - your rainbow is very special.

Elli Moody said...

Thank you Helen - that's just what I needed to read right now.

pop-i-cok said...

me too xx

Helen Hallows said...

It's not always easy to be honest on my blog, but when I'm reading other peoples, I look for support and nourishment from fellow creatives. I've been standing still more recently and trying to be more present, rather than always worrying! I stood still long enough to realise that I have an amazing life!!

Jayne Schofield said...

What a wonderful poem Helen....and at just the right time for me to read it......thanks for sharing it and I hope you had a lovely anniversary x

mrs cheese said...

Wow, that's such a powerful poem.
Sitting here with tears rolling down my cheeks.
Thank you for sharing

duncan smith said...

I always tend to think of you and David as the perfect couple, I'm sure you have your ups and downs like most of us, but from here that's how I see you both. David has become what I admire in an artist, being strong in his beliefs and following this through in his art and his teaching. I had a an Art teacher like David in my youth who inspired me to become the artist I am today and I'm sure his students could not ask for a better inspiration.

Helen you have become a true Renaissance artist in all senses of the word. A true free spirit willing to explore and take chances and face new challenges head on, and embrace the journeys ahead be they good or bad. Your nurturing spirit, be it for the lost causes of the world or the poor souls you meet on your way and of course, for your children. This is a gift dealt out to so few.
We don't get to see you much these days apart from dipping into your blogs or seeing photos on facebook, but it's enough to make me smile and remember what nice people you are, Happy belated Anniversary.xx

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