This photo from April 2008 shows Christy Paxson and her newborn daughter, six weeks old at the time. The subject of mother and child is an eternal one, and when I took this photo I began to understand why. The power to bring new life into the world is profound. There is something of the divine in it. In patriarchal modes, power is often equated with violence, requiring subjugation and dominance over another. But there is another kind of power, which derives from nurture and giving. Can we acclaim that power without descending into smarmy platitudes or mawkish stereotypes? This photo was originally exhibited in a New Orleans gallery around the time of the winter solstice, a time of year when some ancient European cultures celebrated Mōdraniht — Mothers’ Night — in honor of the divine feminine. I dedicate this portrait to that power and to mothers everywhere.
Bart Everson is a writer, a photographer, a baker of bread, a husband and a father. His formative years were spent in Indiana and northern Sweden, and he has lived in New Orleans since 1999. His work has appeared in Red Rock Review and the collections Please Forward, Godless Paganism and Finding the Masculine in Goddess’ Spiral. His new book is Spinning in Place: A Secular Humanist Embraces the Neo-Pagan Wheel of the Year. http://amzn.to/2ky2If1 Currently he is working to establish a local chapter of the Green Party in New Orleans. More at BartEverson.com.