Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is a day of chocolates and flowers and cards. Sometimes brunch. Now, I have nothing against flowers and chocolates and cards. And, I really enjoy Sunday brunch, although perhaps not on the day when everyone else in town is having brunch. But, that is not what the oriiginal idea of Mother's Day was. It was not supposed to be a day to pamper mom, but a day for mom to realize her power, to fight to protect her children and all children. The mother being addressed was more the mother of the Pieta than of the Beaver. You know, Cindy Sheehan.

I was visiting Down With Tyranny on Monday, and found This Sunday is Mother's Day: What would Be Better For Mom Than A Box of Candies . I have copied the original Mother's Day Proclamation, by Julia Ward Howe, for you. Do go to the original and read the rest of the post. It is excellent.
Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise, all women who have breasts,
Whether our baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
"We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."
From the bosom of the devastated Earth a voice goes up with our own.
It says: "Disarm! Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace,
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God.
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And at the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.


Joy Des Jardins said...

Thanks for this wonderful piece for today....Happy Mother's Day to you J. May it be as beautiful as you are...

J at said...

What are the chances of that? I had a whole 'nother post brewing, but it never worked out, and mine came out instead. Hmmm.

Happy Mother's Day!

Betty said...

Boy, have we ever changed the meaning of Mother's Day. Happy Day to you.

Anvilcloud said...

That's quite stirring. Very interesting.

bridget said...

To me, that image will always and forever be linked to this poem, from Rilke's Das Marienleben ("The Life of [the Virgin] Mary"), which roughly translates:

Now my misery is full,
and it fulfills me namelessly.
I stare like [I am] stone inside. Hard as I am, you were once a part of me:
You grew -... and became pain.
And now, pain completely covers my heart.
Now you lie across my lap;
Now I can no longer give you life.