Almost two years ago to the day, I performed in The Listen To Your Mother San Francisco production, one of 14 women to share a story of motherhood before an audience, part of the national live on-stage reading series that celebrates every aspect of motherhood.
This series was founded by my friend, Ann Imig, and I had been following it for quite a while before (1) it came to my city and (2) I was brave enough to audition. I wrote about my Listen To Your Mother (LYTM) journey a lot on my blog. My readers know how transformative it was for me, and while I love performing, it was the listening that really got me – there are other stories out there! Some made me realize with gratitude that I’m not alone on this magical and difficult journey, and some that opened my eyes to how very different motherhood can be for each of us.
Here’s where I get all Bono on you: “We’re one / But we’re not the same / We get to carry each other.” Taking part in a Listen To Your Mother show – either as performer or audience – is a recognition of what both connects us and differentiates us as mothers or mothered. For a good hour or two, you feel carried by that feeling of support.
Now, after years of hard work and extraordinary vision, Ann brings you a gorgeous anthology from Putnam Books titled “Listen To Your Mother: What She Said Then, What We’re Saying Now,” on sale today! Edited by Ann, this beautiful hardcover is filled not only with bestselling and well-known authors like Jenny Lawson and Jennifer Weiner, but with activists, humor writers, gay parents, and the ordinary (extraordinary) women – and men – down the street.
I’m proud to say that two of my fellow San Francisco castmates, Nancy Davis Kho and Michelle Cruz Gonzalez, are featured. Nancy’s essay is warm and funny, a revelation about the other mothers in our lives that help shape us; Michelle’s is full of heart, astounding, and totally kick-ass as she takes the talent show stage with her son. My good friends and amazing writers, Lisa Rae Page Rosenberg, Alexandra Rosas, Marinka, and Wendi Aarons, all have funny, touching, wonderful pieces.
This book has been getting rave reviews in all the right places, but it is so much more rich and compelling than the blurbs you’ll read. It’s edgy and raw and emotional. It makes you think, it makes you want to talk about it with your friends. This book drilled down – way down – into the core of motherhood and took out a wondrous cross-section for you to examine. A mille-feuille, if you will, a thousand layers for you to savor.
There is not a LTYM show in every city or town (yet), but now everyone can hold in their hands the unique power of motherhood and the personal story. I hope the Listen To Your Mother anthology will be a lodestone that magnetizes a nation of mothers and people – all one, but not the same – to connect with and carry one another.
Click HERE for a list of online booksellers and order your copy now!
And click HERE to purchase tickets to this year’s Listen To Your Mother San Francisco production on May 9th at the Brava Theater. I will be in the audience – will you?