Anne Waldman:

Marriage & Motherhood

I had met Reed Bye at a poetry event in Boulder which local poet Jack Collom, old friend Lewis MacAdams, and I had organized to mix the Naropa scene with the local scene. Reed had been a student at the university, dropped out to join the Merchant Marines, and had settled back to Boulder modestly writing poems, doing "tree work" and roofing for a living. We immediately felt a powerful and passionate bond, an attraction of opposites. Reed was an introvert, conservative by nature, domestic, private, and was to become a serious Buddhist practitioner. We felt we could live and work together and did for a number of years (until 1991) on our magazine [Rocky Ledge] and press [Rocky Ledge Cottage Editions] and then through various projects at Naropa where he was also at times teaching poetry and poetics. We married in 1980 and I gave birth to our son whom we named Edwin Ambrose on October 21, 1980. I had had dreams for many nights about a boy who would be named "our man," who would travel to me "through mountains and snows." I felt his nose pushing against my spine during excruciating labor. Every woman will tell how much pain and ecstasy is involved in childbirth. How as a woman you reenact the primordial birth of the "first being," and how you finally recognize your body's secret agenda. Ambrose was a miracle, a blessing-I hadn't necessarily expected to have a child, being driven by a sense of career and not settled enough in a relationship which could accommodate "family." This was an inspiring turning point. I experienced unconditional love for the first time and in many ways a deeper political commitment to the survival of the planet, the species. My child became my teacher.

Anne Waldman. "Anne Waldman: 1945-," in Contemporary Authors Autobiography Series. Gale Research Series, Volume 17, 1993: 285-286.