Sunday, December 4, 2011

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Due to problems in Blogger in the last few days, I decided it´s time I moved to another host. I´ll be posting in both Blogger and WordPress for a little while, before I move definitely.
Please bookmark the new address for Luciana´s Ocean :

See you there!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Some Thoughts on Mother´s Day

I open the local newspaper and there it is: the picture of a woman holding a little boy and the title “Maternal Instinct” . It´s a two page article about mother´s day with an interview with a nurse from the maternity ward in one of the local hospitals. She describes her observations of  the relationship between mothers and infants in the days they spend there after delivery.

Honestly, I don´t believe in what is usually called maternal instinct. I believe we humans have survival instincts and that includes not letting our offspring die, by keeping it clean, warm, and fed.  What people usually mean by maternal instinct - that every woman is a potential mother in terms of loving a child and helping her/him develop into an independent and autonomous human being - is far from being instinctive. That was actually built in society, when the need to worry exclusively about the basic survival of the young, as we, as a species, did in other times, became less pressing.

When society in the 21st century says that every woman, by instinct, is prepared to be a mother, it is shooting itself in the foot. It is actually telling women that there´s something wrong with them if they´re childless, and they should get themselves a child in order to be happy. Also it is telling young women that motherhood doesn´t need planning, that thanks to instincts everything is going to be all right. It also tells men that they have no business in raising children, since it is a task that is performed by women, by instinct.  And finally, it turns motherhood into a nightmare to some women and especially to their children, who many times are completely right when they say or imply: I didn´t ask to be born.

In a world where everything one does can be publicized, being a mother turned into something “cool” as long as you keep doing everything you were doing before you got the baby. A mother who changes her life (what would be more than expected, after all) is “uncool”. Gisele Bundchen  returned to the catwalk a few months after she had her baby, with the same body as before her pregnancy, which means she´s probably eating very little and not breastfeeding. Brazilian TV Host Adriane Galisteu tells Caras magazine, referring to her pregnancy and the birth of her son, that “having been a mother was the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me”. Wait a minute. Having been? So that´s it? Pregnancy, childbirth and you´re done? And on, and on the list of celebrities goes. And what´s worse is that in a society of consumers, their behavior/image is a consumer good as much as the clothes they wear. People pay lots of money to IVF clinics for treatments that are physically as well as emotionally painful , and many times done for the wrong reasons. Quite recently ,I read about this very well-off couple from a town nearby  who  gave birth to triplets and decided to leave one of them for adoption in the hospital, because “ it´s just too much work”. The result is that the three babies were taken from them and are now for adoption.

Mothers are not goddesses, or saints, or even martyrs. Mothers are human beings, which means that things can go very wrong if motherhood turns out to be something they suddenly don´t want to or can´t deal with, because they´re already at a point where there´s no way back. In a 21st century civilized world, there´s no worry about the survival of the species. In fact, there are too many people in the planet. We´re not an endangered species, which gives us some choices. And that should be respected. Women should be respected when they decide not to be mothers.

And if women do decide to be mothers, they should get support so they can enjoy the task they signed up to. Motherhood is about caring, giving and helping. It´s about saying NO, because we love so much, but also about saying YES, because we need to let go. It´s about finding inside ourselves an unselfish part of us who will be happy with being left behind.  It´s about giving all the tools and telling all the secret formulas, and then getting out of the way, so our children can grow.

 Being a mother is not easy, and it can be really crazy sometimes, but it shouldn´t be emotionally painful and destructive, as is the case with many families so often (dangerously often) nowadays. 

Those are some ideas I have about motherhood. I´ve always wanted to be a mother; when I was a child I dreamed of having children. Because of that, I understand that it should be really hard if people don´t want it or are not sure about it, and end up having kids for reasons such as trying to fit in, or please a spouse, or even (and yes, I´ve seen that) because all their girlfriends are doing it. I´d like all women to be able and free to choose. It´d be great for the world.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Problem with Saints

The problem with saints is that they take metaphors as facts. Also, they concentrate all their efforts in their imaginary battles.

For them, the end justifies the means and they´re never, ever, wrong.

Saints are dangerous, unpredictable beings. Although always focused on their own interests, they often use the words "freedom, God, and enemy" ,  and I have to agree with Neil Gaiman: sometimes it´s really hard to hang around with saints.

[These people are the talented Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman, authors of, among other songs in 8in8, The Problem with Saints]

Sunday, May 1, 2011

When I was growing up, my middle brother used to say that, as a newborn, I had been left at our house's doorsteps in a box, along with two baby parrots. They had chosen to keep me, he said, because they mistakenly thought I wouldn't be as noisy as the parrots...
That's my dear brother's sense of humor.
Anyway, if that were really true,and if parrots lived that long, they'd be celebrating their birthday today, with me.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Of all the Catholic metaphors, I should say that Easter is the one that makes more sense to me. I do believe in death and rebirth. I don´t believe in it as a fact. I believe in symbolical death and rebirth: something has to go so that something else occupies its place. It happens in nature all the time.

I spent this Easter with the people I love most in this world, and many of them are children. Their growing up means a symbolical death to us, adults. I´m fine with it. My body feels the years go by, but my heart is reborn, again and again, in their smile. 

                                                                     Ana and Gabriel

                                                       Luana, Lucas and the little Analu

Thursday, April 7, 2011

After Clarice, in Forgiving God

No, I don´t want to embrace a rat.
I´m not ready for that.
In my selfish, so human way
I want to cry and scream and kill the rat.

I thought I could embrace the world.
But the world has rats.
And I´m not ready to share my world with a rat.
I want to embrace those twelve dead birds.
Heart stopped. Broken wings.

I know the rat was a bird once.
Sorry for him.
But when he got two guns and became a rat
He got bad, and there are birds to protect.

I just want to be human today
And in my selfish, so human way
I weep for the birds, not the rat.

- This poem came out after trying to make sense of this  and this.

Friday, March 11, 2011

About one year ago, I shared my views on this whole thing of International Women Day , or International Day of Women, or Women International Day, whatever. I wrote them on this post called Woman Beings.
This year, I´d like to share this poem : The Other Princess . It´s based on Andersen´s story The Princess and the Pea. You can find the story here.

Monday, January 17, 2011

La Vie Champêtre

A frequent visitor, this woodpecker has no idea my cat is keeping an eye on him.

Like I said, that woodpecker had better choose the highest trees.

Meanwhile, Dracula the lizard goes out for a stroll.

As for us, humans, we´re busy  being people.

Friday, January 14, 2011

My poem To Poe With Love was published at Contemporary Literary Horizon , a multicultural publication from Romania. Thanks to Keiko Amano for introducing me to the journal and its editor-in-chief, Daniel Dragomirescu, and thanks to Daniel for publishing it. I really appreciated it! You can check the work of many talented and multicultural contributors to the journal here.