11 February

The “Gusaphogus” Song. Would Maria Have Made A Good Mother?

by Jon Katz

Maria and I have had this argument for years. She says she would not have made a good mother, and did not ever want to have children, she did not think she would be good at.

I think it is  true that she does not wish to have children, that is up to her. But I disagree that she wouldn’t have been good at it.

She is the most nurturing person I have ever known, and if she had chosen to have children – I wish I had been young enough, I think we could have made a great, strange,  kid together – she would have been a wonderful mother.

Maria also claims not to be nurturing, so with her permission, I took this video of her holding Gus in the approved megaesophagus position after he eats. See for yourself.

She wrote about this issue on her blog today, it is a great piece of self-awareness and truth.

Of course, she has created a Gusophagus song for Gus. I don’t have a video fo her chatting with her goldfish Frida every morning. Of or guilt-tripping the dogs when they don’t go into her study. Or of her stuffing gourmet pasta into a napkin and putting it in her purse for the chickens when we go out to eat.

Or of her scolding the barn cats to leave their cozy basement perch and go outside whenever the temperature hits 32 degrees. After all, she tells them, they should be outside hunting. Or of re-homing spiders and bugs so I can’t kill them.

Then there are the donkeys, with whom Maria shares her daily prayers and quite often has a good and secret cry about the vagaries of life and the spiritual path.

Not to mention her friend the loud black crow, with whom she chats regularly from the tree above the Schoolhouse Studio.

I greatly respect her decision not to have kids.

But it wasn’t because she wouldn’t be good at it. It’s because she just didn’t want to do it and preferred to follow her life as an artist. What she has done with her career as an artist has been nothing less than astounding, and she choose to not live a life of distraction.

I think that, along with great talent and strength, is how she did it.

Come and see Maria singing to Gus (I joined in), we call it the “vomit song’ or “Gus-a-sophagus.”

At the end of the song, we added our own stanza and sang it together: “Clean Up Vomit, That’s What We Do.” Take a look.


  1. I’m also childfree by choice, and at age 66 I can say I have never regretted that choice for a moment. My nurturing goes into my friendships, husband, and my sister’s children and now grandchildren. Life is full of choices, I made the right one for myself, no doubt Maria did the same.

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