Nollaig na mBan is the day when, in rural Irish communities, the men take on the household duties as a way of honouring all the work the women have done to make Christmas happen (and everything else all through out the year but who’s keeping score, eh?).
I’m writing this at the tipping point of the crazy season and I have to say that each year, I really look forward to marking Women’s Christmas on the 6th of January. I’ve gathered with some friends and we’ve enjoyed a last hurrah before the kids go back to school and the new year resolutions are completely annihilated.
This year, I’m bringing the tradition north of the border. I’m hosting an intimate gathering at the gorgeous The Drawing Room in Bangor, Co. Down to celebrate the sisters and introduce them to The Desire Map.
I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions. I can’t bear the potential (inevitable) failure that comes when my lofty ideals aren’t met.
So now I spend some time figuring out how I want to feel, rather than what I want to achieve.
Bye, bye, diets, fads, unattainable goals, impossible to meet expectations!
Hello, soulful intentions based on my deepest desires and most pleasurable joys.
I will be forever grateful to my friend Robyn who emailed me from France one day when I was in the thick of life with little littles and struggling to reconcile my creative desires with early motherhood. She told me about a book called the Rainbow Way which dealt head on with the very issues I was grappling with. I bought the book and felt like I had found a soul sister who knew exactly how I was feeling and was ready with a giant permission slip to be just who I needed to be as a mother and an artist.
I have followed Lucy’s journey and that of her publishing company Womancraft Publishing closely over the years and was eagerly awaiting her latest title Medicine Woman since reading its companion Burning Woman.
I’m admitting here that I have not yet finished reading Medicine Woman. It is intense and I find myself getting so agitated and moved by it that I need to take it slowly. Before we hit record on today’s conversation, I confessed this to Lucy who reassured me that this was normal. She’s had feedback from other readers saying similar things. She’s written about her very personal journey of health issues but has also made a very studied critique of the Western medical system and how women are not being served by it. She’s lifting the lid on all that is unsaid about women’s health and women’s position in the health system. It feels like an important work at a significant time.