Hello all, I thought I would share a piece that I just wrote about why I need to be a midwife...
Revised 7/24/10 After a week in New Mexico
Why Do I Want to be A Midwife?
Why do I want to be a midwife? How many times have I thought or written about this, each time going a bit deeper, peeling the layers of an onion, one thin and translucent layer at a time.
On a trip to New Mexico, standing half in the hot sun at Ohkay Owingeh festival, watching the Dance of the Deer, I achieved clarity on what I had always known but had not yet spoken or written. I need to be a midwife because it is my connection to that which is sacred.
I thought being a midwife was about empowering women, or about organizing in my community, the community of women, (rather then as an outsider, organizing in another community), or about creating peace on earth. It is about all those things but there is something deeper. Being a midwife is about following my bliss, connecting to the sacred, a connection I believe every individual must find in order to be fully alive.
During the three years I spent in West Africa, I felt as close to God as I had ever been. I initially thought I was called to West Africa because I was angry with “white culture,” but now I know it was God calling me to truly taste what is sacred, in order to make me hunger for it in the years to come. I think cultures closer to the earth embrace the sacred in daily moments, moments which can be few and far between in the U.S. So few and far between that I had to travel to Mali to really understand the sacred. Admittedly I caught the sacred here and there, a Cathedral in Paris, a sunrise on the Gulf of Mexico, and in Gospel Music (which is why I continue to sing and feel unrooted when I am not singing). But standing in the half sun in New Mexico, I acknowledged that I find the sacred in every birth.
But there is more. At the Georgia O’Keeffe museum in Santa Fe I read, “Singing has always seemed to me the most perfect means of expression.... It is so spontaneous....Since I cannot sing I paint.” (Georgia O’Keeffee 1922). And my soul said YES and because I cannot sing or paint, I will midwife. I do sing, with my gospel choir, but I don’t think that anyone will hear my voice, and soar to the heights that I have soared in Mali at a drumming circle, or at a birth, or when I listen to Kirk Franklin. But maybe, just maybe, if I can hold the sacred space when I midwife, then the family will connect to the sacred, and then in the U.S. our connection to the sacred will deepen, one family at a time, one birth at a time, and there will be healing.