Considering “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

The multiverse as a metaphor for trauma is rather compelling to me. It speaks to the way in which different realities and experiences impose themselves on others as a matter of fact rather than malintent. These realities necessarily co-exist in interrelationship but may compound the weight and confusion of present experience.

Warning: Spoilers Ahead!



All at Once.

I remember thinking, this is kind of a weird name for a movie, even if it is about the multiverse and shifting realities. But I’m a big sci fi fan, so of course, I jumped at the chance to see it when my friend said she wanted to see the movie, again, with me specifically. Mom’s day out for both of us. Check. A… m.o.v.i.e. I remember movies from a time pre-pandemic: there’s a big screen, right? And food? I like food. Sign me up. (j/k). I seem to remember movie theaters being more crowded though—my friend and I had almost a private viewing. And sitting practically on top of my friend by the end of the film, after laughing so hard I cried, crying because I was so sad, gaping in shock, horror, and even disgust, and wondering what I just saw, I reflected: this movie was perfectly named.

Continue reading “Considering “Everything Everywhere All at Once””

Mother – Daughter Betrayal by Sara Wright


Today is my mother’s birthday and although she has been dead for more than a decade I still think of her almost every day. At the time of her death I had not seen her for twelve years. Not by choice. After my father’s sudden demise my mother chose my children, her two adult grandsons to be her protectors, and dismissed me from her life, permanently.

When she died, my mother divided her assets evenly between my children and me, forcing her only daughter to live beneath the poverty level for the remainder of her life.

The final betrayal.

At the time of her death I was teaching Women’s Studies at the University.

Continue reading “Mother – Daughter Betrayal by Sara Wright”

Mother of All Fears by Trelawney Grenfell-Muir

This time of year, the general public tends to pay more attention than usual to witches. Much of it is lighthearted – halloween costumes and memes about where to park your broom. Some of it is spiritual – adherents of the modern religions of Wicca and neopaganism discussing symbolic and supernatural beliefs. And some of it is historical – analyzing the witch trials of past centuries and wondering how they apply, ethically, to modern day intolerance and violence.

Within all these discussions, usually unnamed and unexamined, is the framing metaquestion: what should we fear? And what should we do about that which we fear?

Historic witch trials (from a time when witches were believed to be evil agents of Satan) reveals how we humans always try to externalize badness and goodness, so we can exterminate badness and excuse ourselves for our lack of goodness. So we have heroes and villains, neither of them very human, but rather idols and symbols of our fears. I honestly think the patriarchy’s fear of females is as strong as it ever was. When the most popular videos on the most popular internet porn sites are of ****TRIGGER WARNING RAPE, INCEST**** raping a stepsister, or doctors raping a teenage girl in the hospital for cancer, or of border agents raping a pregnant young refugee, and these sites are visited by 98% of the men in our society, what does that say about us as a species? Or a culture? As Tallessyn Grenfell-Lee says, “Scary, scary vaginas!

Continue reading “Mother of All Fears by Trelawney Grenfell-Muir”

Witness by Sara Wright



It was dark

when I first heard Her

whooing overhead

bearing witness,

ushering in

the First of the

Harvest Moons.

The seasonal wheel turning towards

ripe fruit and swelling seeds.

Summer’s Bounty.

This goddess

is cloaked

in feathery mole brown splendor

a Sphinx flying

through the night.

S/he heralds the

Gift of Water

answering earnest prayers…

As ‘Changing Woman’ she brings rain

to soften cracked desert ground…


Hidden in a tangle of branches

Owl observes my approach…

When I pass

under the Cottonwood tree

she takes flight in silence.

lands on a snag –

luminous eyes glowing.

Fiery embers

sweeten the night.

Her beneficent

Presence floods me

with wonder –

Oh, I know Her well.

Love seeps through

a body punctured by holes.

Seen at last by my Beloved

I give thanks for Owl

whooo calls my name.

Continue reading “Witness by Sara Wright”

Mamma Mia and the Mother-Daughter Connection by Katie M. Deaver

A couple of weeks ago I went to see the new Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! movie.  In addition to being a fan of movies inspired by musicals I also loved the emphasis that was placed on the mother/daughter relationship in the first Mamma Mia and had heard that this new installment would continue to focus on that relationship.  It definitely didn’t disappoint!

This second movie takes place five years after the original Mamma Mia, and roughly a year after the death of Donna Sheridan, with Donna’s daughter Sophie preparing for the grand reopening of the Hotel Bella Donna.  This second movie also features lots of flashbacks where we are able to see a young Donna arrive at the island of Kalokairi as well as see how she first meets Sam, Bill, and Harry, her daughter Sophie’s three possible fathers.

As one might imagine, even if you aren’t familiar with the movie there is a lot going on, but the part that I found most intriguing was the very end of the movie.  At this point Sophie has given birth to her own baby and is bringing the child to the church to be baptized.  During the ceremony Donna’s spirit is there at the font with her daughter and new grandchild and you could feel this amazing sense of connection and love between not only three generations but across the lines of physical and spiritual presence and space.

Continue reading “Mamma Mia and the Mother-Daughter Connection by Katie M. Deaver”

Turning One by Sara Frykenberg

14724657_10154061354658546_8918956387379465095_nThis month I turn one as a mother. My daughter, consequently, is also turning one—a first birthday I am excitedly planning. Specifically, I want to make Hazel a rainbow cake with lots of colored layers and white frosting. I’m not even sure she’ll be able to eat the cake (avoiding lots of sugar for a one-year-old and all), but among those family pictures I treasure, my mother held a cake for her little ones. I want to be like my mother. I am going to make a cake.

But planning my daughter’s party, I realized that I am also going to have a kind of birth-day anniversary. Other moms have told me that it takes a year to really process the experience of giving birth. While I did consider the significance of my “birthing community,” in a blog last fall, I realized a couple of weeks ago that I wasn’t done understanding what I, what mothers, and what life givers of all kinds go through to bring life into the world. Continue reading “Turning One by Sara Frykenberg”

Family Ties by amina wadud

amina 2014 - croppedSome of you may be familiar with the time honored curse: “May you grow up to have a child exactly like you…”? I know, no one is exactly alike, but the point is, some of what we put our parents through will likely be revisited upon us if/when we become parents. And so it is, I have joked with my children time and again, “I wonder where you got THAT from?”

Of my five children the one most like me is my middle daughter. Of course from my perspective her version is multiplied exponentially. Take her vegetarian beginnings. When she was 10 years and 10 months old she made the pronouncement that she would no longer eat slaughtered animals. As she was too young to have any kitchen responsibilities besides a weekly dish-washing assignment along with her siblings, I begged her father to intervene on my behalf. He managed to get her to agree to wait until she was older. 2 months later, she had a birthday. Now she was older. She has been a vegetarian ever since! Continue reading “Family Ties by amina wadud”

“Inheriting Our Mother’s Gardens”: Trans/lating, Trans/planting and Trans/forming Life by Sara Frykenberg

Sara FrykenbergThis Friday, March 7, 2014, the Women’s Caucus (WC) of the American Academy of Religion, Western Region will be hosting its annual “Professional Development Panel and Workshop” in Los Angeles, CA.  During the workshop panelists and attendees will consider what ‘gardens’ we have grown in, who our ‘mothers’ are and how this impacts what we bring to the table or what ‘gifts’ we bring to the table when dialoging with and across differences.  Our title and praxis at this event is also meant to honor our feminist mothers.  Specifically I would like to recognize and honor Letty Russel, Katie Geneva Cannon, Kwok Pui Lan and Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz.  Among many other accomplishments, these women edited the 1988 volume entitled: Inheriting Our Mothers’ Gardens: Feminist Theology in Third World Perspective.  This book helps to give voice to women marginalized within feminist theological discourses and is the inspiration for our panel’s title this year. 

Preparing for this panel, I reflected that many of those who contribute to this blog have written about their mothers (biological or non-biological) and mothering.  (Most recently I found myself inspired by Marie Cartier’s meditation on aging, health, her mother and religion.)  I realized that I have said very little about my own mom; my mom, who I am so like, who I look like, and who is both my mother and my friend.  I have definitely ‘inherited her garden,’ so to speak: flowers, herbs, weeds, rocks and all.  So, momma, this blog is for you.

Continue reading ““Inheriting Our Mother’s Gardens”: Trans/lating, Trans/planting and Trans/forming Life by Sara Frykenberg”

Birth Warrior by Molly

editMollyNov 083“In this culture…a woman can be made to feel foolish for emphasizing the centrality of giving birth to her identity or her personal religiousness, her ‘womanspirit…’” –Stephanie Demetrakopoulos (Listening to Our Bodies)

After the birth of my daughter in 2011, I received a small package from a Birthing from Within mentor friend. In it was a sweet little t-shirt imprinted with the words, My Mama is a Birth Warrior. The words on the shirt surrounded a labyrinth image, which I love as a metaphor for birth and life

Written on the enclosed card was the following:

Imagine a tribe in which a woman is prepared for childbirth in the same way warriors are prepared for battle. Imagine a Ceremony for this woman before she gives birth, a grand send-off with holy songs and fire. Imagine a feast, prepared just for her.

Her tribe tells her, they say to her “Go to your journey, you have prepared. We have prepared you. If you fall from your horse once or a hundred times, it does not matter. All that matters is that you come back to us, that you come home.

Throughout your journey–your labyrinth of Great Love, Great Determination, Great Faith and Great Doubt—you rode on!

The Great Tribe of Mothers welcomes you back from your birth journey with honor.

Modeling her little t-shirt.
Modeling her little t-shirt.

Imagine, indeed. After I read this note I reflected that I did feel I embarked on a mighty journey during my last pregnancy, I did pass through those Gates, and I did ride on. I AM a birth warrior!  Continue reading “Birth Warrior by Molly”


On Good Friday, Easter Saturday, Easter Sunday, and Easter Monday the blogs on celebrated mothers and God the Mother.*

 This is my body, given for you.

This is my blood, given for you.

While these words are the center of a Christian liturgy celebrating the sacrifice of Jesus as the Christ, they are more appropriately spoken of our own mothers. Your mother and my mother and all mothers, human and other than human, mammalian, avian, and reptilian, give their bodies and blood so their offspring might have life. True, mothers do not always make conscious choices to get pregnant, but almost all mothers affirm life in their willingness to nurture the young who emerge from their bodies and from their nests. Had mothers—human and other than human–not been giving their bodies and their blood from time immemorial, you and I would not be here.

The Easter liturgy fails to acknowledge that the original offering of body and blood is the mother’s offering. Christianity “stole” the imagery associated with birth and attributed it to a male savior. If that was all Christians had done, it would have been bad enough. In most countries today there are laws against theft. Christian theologians and liturgists should also be given an “F” for plagiarism–defined as presenting the ideas of others as if they are one’s own. Z Budapest was right when she famously famously opined, “Christianity didn’t have any original ideas.

Continue reading “EASTER OF THE GODDESS: A VIEW FROM GREECE by Carol P. Christ”

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