It is with great excitement that I begin this wonderful journey with six other beautiful women of power. My name is Donna Motta; at times I write and publish under the name of Laurel Joy Graceson...
I will actually be writing more about the origin of my pseudonym, but for now I will begin with an introduction of myself, and what I wish to share and accomplish with my blog posts.
I am a 48year Ager...Wife; Mom of many ( I have 5 biological children, and 3 stepchildren); homeschooler of my two youngest girls, who are 12 and 13; Community Volunteer and Advocate; 4H Volunteer; Sunday School Teacher; Poet/ Spoken Word Performer; Writer; Visual Artist; Maker; Healer; Counselor... and it seems like I may indeed wear a few more hats.
I say all this to say, some time in December... a revolution began to grow in my heart, and, subsequently, in my home. This desire to seek an even deeper relationship with myself, my earth, and all who ramble upon it, began to tremble in my soul.
This is not necessarily a new happening for me, I feel I have always been one to seek new experience... yet, as I remember, it has never felt this urgent.
I am such a lover of humanity... yet, in these past weeks, the beauty of the human soul has become exceptionally vibrant and shimmering in my field of vision. I find myself just reaching out to experience all in my path. Individuals are fascinating... so intricately intoxicating, I cannot seem to stop my “research”.
I love to interview everyday folk who I am blessed to be present with...
My findings: every soul is an epic poem... either written, in process, or yet to be penned... or a combination of all three.
As I become older, I joyously find, my soul refuses to be limited by age, disease, labels, or circumstance.
Hope and excitement fill my heart when I think about the present, and future soul connections that have potential to be made through this blog.
Seeking new experiences and challenges for myself over these next seven weeks is my new, immediate goal...things I have yet to experience, or may have been hesitant or fearful to experience. I wish to focus on the abolishment of fear! Sounds bold... is bold! Yet, some of these “feared” challenges may be as small/ huge as having an authentic, healing conversation with someone I love... or writing for a blog, and managing technology intelligently, with excellence!
I will then share the entire process with all: from inspiration, to seeking connection with that experience. Then of course, the actual experience itself: people I meet through the way; and finally, life/ heart/soul changes I have been blessed with as result.
Some of my ideas for posts will be based on Unity, healing, art, nature, forgiveness, and humanity...I plan to take myself, and subsequently, consciously... all of us on these “risky” adventures!
Prayer and expectation: I will definitely emerge from these seven, focused weeks as a more enriched, more textured woman...
Gifting goal: To share that beauty with all of you; and hopefully, with your permission, add to the beauty and rich texture of your own life story.
I believe we all become fibers (some tough, soft, water repellant, etc) and vibrant threads within the cloth of each other’s collective fabric! I also believe in lovingly, mindfully choosing the fibers I care to work with... Our end product so valuable, useful, embellishing.
If we miss a stitch, or put the wrong piece in; no worries, we can always remove and redo!
The true wonder of collectives (in this case, female collectives!) is we share ideas, becoming the catalyst or challenge for the thoughts of others and ourselves; become inspired by growth, and change we see in others within our group; and provide healthy tension (like the tension needed to concisely roll a fabric bolt) for all to process the intake of all we face.
So... with all that said... why blog? I am not, at the moment, the most tech savvy person; and, writing with this blog is (while really exciting!) pretty scary stuff. THAT is the very reason I chose to apply for the process! I am choosing to place myself in a wonderful opportunity to stretch; to be timely, and present; and to make myself both vulnerable to new situations, as well as vulnerable in relating their (what I’m hoping to be revelatory, and sometimes hilarious) outcomes!
Who Am I??
Weve discussed age, and some points of philosophy. Great! But details...
Born in rural Alabama, to a forward thinking, eccentric, liberal, single mom; I already had an odd start! After moving to Massachusetts, I spent many years residing in, and ministering to, a large city on the East Coast. As of three years ago, we are now Berkshire transplants, and are in love with the land!
I am an RN, who at first worked mainly in med/surg... but then ICU and ER for the last 8 years of my nursing career. I was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy, which WAS NOT the end of life as I had feared. In fact, that diagnosis started me living in an entirely new way. I now homeschool my two youngest daughters, Volunteer in my community, and serve in our church. I also dislike introducing myself in this light, as these are things I do... and not so much who I am.
I am also a writer, poet/performer, human rights advocate, Artist, musician, photographer, organizer, and.. not last, or least, very happy wife.
Not “very happy” BECAUSE I am a wife... a “very happy” wife because I strive to be... and also because my husband strives to be happy within himself as well.
My family is a terrific, diverse group (together, we have eight children), who range in interests from preaching, to sheep husbandry, to being part of a punk rock band. We are a group going through dynamic changes at the moment (in fact, at every moment!). Some children are in their tweens, teens, and early twenties... children in grad school, getting married, having children, going away to war, and having their first crush. Some are artists, musicians, horse enthusiasts, teachers, soccer players, wrestlers, writers, poets, and boxers. Heartbreakingly, One has moved forward to a new realm of possibility, and adventure.
I do not feel what I expected in my late forties... I guess I feared feeling as if I had hit the plateau. (Ironically, I did feel that, for a brief time, in my twenties.) Instead, I do many of these things alongside my children... learning as they do. I love 48! I love graying hair, and skin changes... I love phases, and even, at times, uncertainty. I love feeling beautiful, and sometimes wiser... I love knowing there is so much more to learn; youthful zeal that self replenishes itself as you nurture it!
Our family has, in the past four years, undergone a huge rift. That rift initially left me with the usual... hurt, anger, despondency (My pseudonym was birthed here, all will be revealed!); but then, a spirit of love, adventure, hope, excitement, inspiration, gentleness, and healing resurged!
Life is too precious, too exquisite (even the painful parts!) to just survive... or, worse yet, to not. Life is breath, and light; it’s dirt, and water, and children’s laughter. It’s hugging a woman no one else will touch, and you’re not sure you want to either... but she needs you... and, truth be told... you need her too, you feel as rejected as she does... and you cry in each other’s arms... then you both begin laughing at the absurdity of both of your predicaments... and a light sparks in both of your eyes... and you share that spark... that moment... and neither of you die... and neither of you forget this.
One certain thing in my soul... if you have hope to give, give freely. We are often in times of either joyful, or painful transition. Those are the times to grasp as many as we can by the hand, and walk through the flames; meditating, praying, creating, serving, celebrating, crying, or screaming with a bizerker yell of wartime rage, into whatever the next moment call upon us to do.
These times are weird...
We need each other more than ever! I am grateful for all of us!
Thank you for giving your gift of time to read my thoughts; feel free to share yours.
Photo credit: Donna Motta