Diana Norma Szokolyai’s Essay in MER VOX Quarterly

CWW’s Executive Artistic Director, Diana Norma Szokolyai, has an essay published in MER VOX Quarterly: “The Triple Routine: On Motherhood, Working, & The Urgency to Write”

It explores balancing the writing life with motherhood and a job, and it questions expectations placed on women in the professional sphere. Here is an excerpt, and you’re invited to read the whole essay here.

“…I have found that life since becoming a mother has become more multi-dimensional. I’m doing less navel gazing and more observation of others. My son has expanded my empathy, my capacity to love unconditionally, and my ability to give compassion. This has given me the ability to create more complex characters in the stories I write. Life becomes more rich with the expanded experience and responsibility that the role of motherhood affords, and for us creative writers, the need to express ourselves urges us to find the time to do so.

We are pulled by the “triple routine” in hundreds of directions. Laundry awaits to be folded. Food waits to be cooked. Emails and notifications push and pull at our attention. And then, the gentle tug of our child’s fingers at the hem of our clothing calls us out of the mundane and into the world of the child. What ensues is what can be called parental reverie, a kind of return to wondering through the eyes of a child. Our children hold our hands and walk us back through the gateway of childhood, so that we can play beside them. The shadow of a hand on a wall becomes a wolf, and a blanket transforms into a cave for fantastic, ticklish beasts. We are guided by the wide-eyed awe and the dimpled finger of our toddler pointing to the sky in the middle of the grocery store parking lot, as we hear the word “moon” mouthed for the first time in the high joy of elvish tones.

During this parallel “play” experienced in parenthood, one always gets more out of the experience than expected, if one truly gives oneself fully over to it. As we watch the tiny hands of our children turn over a rock, in search of some mystery of life, we are reminded that the world is ours to explore just underfoot. These magical moments are what carry us through the mundane tasks of work, both at our jobs and at home. The gift of motherhood, for me, has also been the feeling of time fleeting, for I feel, more than ever, the urgent calling to write about experiences, to distill them with paper and ink.”