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On the Vocation of Motherhood & Artmaking

I've been wanting to pull together a retreat like this since the spring of 1996. At the time I was attending an Anglican church in Vancouver, British Columbia.

While drinking a coffee in the fellowship hall, a young woman approached me and introduced herself. She said she'd heard I was interested in the arts. A first-year student at Regent College, I had recently offered to help lead the musical worship at the evening liturgy, which was being aimed at folks on the margins of faith and the church.

She told me she was a modern dancer. She told me that she'd recently given birth to her first child and that was she struggling with postpartum depression. Her body had become foreign to her. It was not the body that she recognized from all her years of training and performing as a dancer. She wondered if I had any good news to tell her.

I didn't. I felt utterly helpless. At 24 years old, I had nothing to offer her except sympathy and words of encouragement, as useless as tho…

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