On Women of the Wall
Choose the milk and honey

Waiting to Unfold conversation at Ask Moxie

Waiting to Unfold is the first book in the Ask Moxie Summer Readalong this year. Magda has posted some opening reflections on the book, as well as questions to spark conversation:

I chose this book because I loved how intimate and raw her poems are. I feel like Rachel is able to capture the very specific and make it universal...

She makes the intimate epic, and the epic intimate. I started crying again reading these lines from "Night Feeding" in the second cycle:

as a hind longs for water
my soul longs for sleep

but I pace the round carpet
until I can crawl into bed

praying that I get a whole hour
before you summon me with your cries

which call in equal measure
my milk and my tears

Her use of the scriptural language connects us as mothers with the Divine, with nature, with all animals, and with all other mothers at the same time. It makes us both little and big, everything and nothing as we do what we have to do to nourish our young even when we think it's breaking us. How many of us have cried through feedings? I wonder if anyone hasn't...

I feel like this is the book I would give to someone who said to me, "No, TRY to tell me what motherhood is like," because even though Rachel has had some experiences not all of us have had, the way she captures the emotion of those experiences is the translation of what it's like in that first year of being someone new that you didn't know you would be.

Her post is here: Discussion: Waiting to Unfold by Rachel Barenblat. If you've read the collection and want to chime in with answers to any of her questions, or with thoughts and reflections about how the book resonated (or didn't!) for you, please do.

I'm honored and delighted that Magda chose my book to kick off the Summer Readalong (and I'm looking forward to reading the other books she's chosen and to participating in those conversations -- though I will largely recuse myself from this one unless anyone has a specific question they want to ask me; I tend to think that book discussions are for the readers, not for the author.)

Thank you, Magda! Thank you for reading, Ask Moxie readers!


Waiting to Unfold costs $13.95 (US, CAN) / £9.10 / €10.66 and is available at Phoenicia Publishing and on Amazon (and Amazon UK and Amazon Europe) -- though publisher and author earn more if you buy it directly from Phoenicia. Still: buy it wherever works for you, I'm just happy that people want to read it!