Saturday, May 31, 2014

And the days come to you like sailors

On the night before my birthday, I dreamed that my brother Doug shot a deer in a stall. The bullet landed in the deer's stomach and turned it a horrible, sloshing, magenta/red. The deer started thrashing and panicking, trying to get away from the agony of the wound. It upset me so much to see its suffering. I thought it would die soon, but it went on and on, making awful noises of pain and jumping and writhing as if it could escape its own body. In the dream, it occurred to me that I could relieve this deer from its pain if I could separate its head from its body and cut off its connection to the wound. In my mind, this was the most merciful act I could perform. But the head, once severed, did not die; it became calm, peaceful, and happy. It would snuggle up to me as I held it, look at me with grateful eyes. I developed an affectionate, nurturing relationship with the deer's head and in my dream there was nothing macabre about it. I would take it in the shower and tuck it in at night. I remember being surprised that it was still living, and expected it would die soon, but I was glad it had escaped the awful deadly wound even if it didn't have a "whole" life anymore. Eventually, the deer's head changed into a child's head, a little blond boy. I continued to take care of it but this made me feel a lot sadder about its situation and the inevitability of its demise. I asked someone if there was a way to keep a child's head alive indefinitely, and they told me, I could put it on a plate of vinegar and oil, and it would live for two years, but "that's no way to live."

This dream has really struck me. It feels like it must be so heavily symbolic. I think Doug's presence is a symbol, also, especially because it would be so out of character for him to hurt any animal. Jon thought Doug could possibly represent negativity and the feelings of futility that are "poisoning me" lately; I told Jon I thought that Doug could represent science, and genetics, and the dream is indicated that the baby I will have will be severely disabled in some way, and I will care for a partial, damaged child without a functioning body, with great affection and kindness, but knowing its life won't last long. Jon says he hopes not, but he thinks that's a valid interpretation.

Birthday. The most unsullied parts were when I took the kids to the splash pad. I love being in the sun and the sweet heavy summer exhaustion that comes over us afterwards. Chai still runs away and doesnt always respond to me when I ask him to come back, but his journeyings seem to be much more contained and he doesn't run out to the road as much. He is more interested in interacting with other kids--today he adopted a family and was just chilling with them on the steps. He loved their baby and when her brother picked her up, he cried "You can't just take her from me!" It's so nice! Sparrow is also exploring a bit more with her trompy fat legs. She is so adorable in the sun with her dignified glee and he little bobbing ponytail. I love my little sweet fresh face girl and her loving hugs. This summer is a thousand times better than last summer (which makes me agonize over the possibility of how wretched next summer will be). Well, we went to the park, enjoyed sunny days, and then the kids slept while I spent the afternoon reading about #yessallwomen and the horrible sexual abuse cases within the church. It makes my head spin and crushes me how many children have carried/are carrying this burden. It is beyond what any reasonable human being could be expected to endure and yet it happens ALL the time.

Thirty is just a day older than yesterday. I'm not sad about that. I'm wearing some heavy emotional chains for many other reasons. Jonathan continues to be my constant. I feel I can depend on him no matter what. He creates such a steady, safe space.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

A ream of paper and an apple core

I have two weeks left of being 29. Are you kidding me? Life is going to's on! I don't know about a career. Everything I find myself dreaming of (MA in gender studies at U of Austin, PhD in counseling psych, stocker at Walmart) makes less sense than staying where I am, powering through to get my L. I'm so close to my thousand face to face hours, how can I speed up the other 3,000? I had the best day with Sparrow. She is just darling and even though I'm still having anxiety if I let myself think about how nursing feels, I have fallen back in love with her. She is my stinkable cozeable nubbly glick, my dainty cluck. We took a bath together, she followed me around cooing and hung onto my legs, she gently touched my nose and wanted to bite my fingers, she murmurs "Mama. Mahmee." I hummed into her neck and made her laugh. She is so special and dear. I went to Scera park to see my friends and it felt good to be there. I still don't want to speak about my Very Quiet Cricket.
I want Jonathan...he is gone on a survival trip for 5 days and I miss him so much. I thought it would be a good use of time to watch all the romcoms that Crystal has on plex, but all it did was give me all kinds of feelings and I have no one to talk to or snuzzle with. Just a few more days...this is the longest we've ever gone without speaking since we began speakng. I hope he is safe and stays safe. It hurts to miss any days with him. My biggest dreams now are to have a beautiful life  and travel with him and always be in love. I truly do love him.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Very Quiet Cricket

I want to find out the baby's gender at birth. It's one of the only aspects of this unexpected pregnancy that gives me genuine anticipation. I like to ask Chai if we should have another boy or another girl. He keeps telling me I should have two more boys. I asked him what we should name them and he said "Tarzan." I said "We can name one Tarzan, but what about the other one?" and he said "Tarzan, too!" We've started talking occasionally about Baby Tarzan in my belly. "It will grow and grow," I told Chai, quoting Dr. Seuss. "Oh, wow!" he says. Sometimes he puffs out his own stomach and declares that he has a baby, too. Other times he decides he wants to remember being a baby and he curls up in my arms and uses his baby voice and requests "milk from breasts."

My baby is a Very Quiet Cricket. I'm almost 14 weeks, and I really can't believe how silent and gentle this pregnancy has been so far. With the other two I was never really sick, but noticed there were a few weeks when smells and memories of smells distressed me and the queasy came easy. Nothing this time, not even any fatigue. I feel stunningly normal. I want to knock on the door and ask if h/she is really in there. The only signs are my thickening belly and my very, very soft heart. So much of what I see and hear stabs me with poignancy, I can tell whatever hormones are conspiring in my chemistry have turned on my tears full blast. I cry at descriptions of great kindness as well as great suffering. I cry for little children and the elderly. I cry for anyone who feels disappointed or lonely. Even though it's heavy, I like these mighty emotions, they feel just, and they make me feel connected to the Quiet Cricket. Maybe h/she will have a heart like my heart.

Friday, May 9, 2014

"We found each other in the cosmos, and that was wonderful."

Before it disappears into forgetting I need to write about the night I came home from New York. Jonathan filled up my whole world again so suddenly and I felt so relieved to be back where I belonged, and a little shy in the car as we were driving and I was trying to tell him, stilted, about our trip. When we got home I saw everything was so clean and lovely and there was a candle burning and a plate of cookies on the table (sweet Mary!). When we were finally home he dropped to his knees and held my waist and looked so eager, he said wistfully, I need to be with you, I missed you. Sometimes it makes me cry just realizing how much of this sweet life that I always longed for is an absolutely rarity. Of course the sharp and disillusioning moments still come, but in all of humanity with all the turmoil and agony of all the generations and cultures, how many individuals have really truly felt loved, and felt safe, and felt understood by their partner? I feel dizzy with this most delicious slice of privilege and so sad that in so many ways it can't last, won't last, but I love it now and I want to fill my arms and my heart with him forever. Ann Druyan was right, mere chance can be so kind. The most wonderful and fulfilling time in my life is when we're cuddling and watching shows and talking. I am so happy with Jonathan that it sort of buffers the general sense of depression and cynicism I feel creeping into the other aspects of my life. Lately I feel like withdrawing from everyone. I used to so look forward to girls nights and activities and would be seared by burning FOMO if I couldn't go, but now I feel very ambivalent, more than ever a sense of going just to support rather than enjoy. I am tired of the expectations and the misunderstandings and the shallowness and the tiresome cognitive distortions. I'm tired of my work as well and can barely stand to be there, but I can only see unpleasant ways my life would change if I would ever leave. I can't even think through the scenario in my head of confessing my condition. I'm too angry, I'm much more comfortable staying in denial. I don't want to buy a minivan, I don't want to have more children than arms. Although maybe it doesn't matter, as they get big and eventually you hold them one at a time anyway, if at all? I don't want to hear anything from anyone (that about covers it). I'm struggling with Sparrow right now. I want to have a sweet relationship with her but her constant whining and begging to nurse makes me feel so trapped and seems to take up absolutely all of our time so that there is no space for bonding in any other way. I feel disappointed about that and a little like a failure. I'm sure it affects her adversely to have me feeling like I want to hide from her. It's not just that nursing is painful, but also her pinches and slaps and tweaking and scratching of my breasts drives me so crazy I don't know what to do. Lately she will let me go if I ask her to. Part of me was remorseful about the probability of nursing ending when I went to New York, but part of me was so relieved! And that part is achingly frustrated right now. How can I bond with my little daughter? I need new ways to connect with her because she's not an infant anymore. It's just easier with Chai right now--wild, brilliant Chai! He took two pieces of broken hanger tonight and declared that he made a flamingo, and he pointed out a leaf on the floor that looked like a violin. He put letter b's and d's on his long-neck's necks and called them swimsuits. He is always asking "Will you play with me?" and "Come in my room?" We went with Moh to see the horses and cows and I asked him if I could hold his hand and he said "yeah ya can, sure!" Tomorrow we're supposed to go up for Beav's farewell. I don't know what I wish for, for anyone, anymore. I think what holds steady is that I don't believe anyone is in any way unworthy. I miss JesuCristo and the sense of fore-ordination and destiny to move things in the world ("We all want to pull the sword out of the stone and have it be us"), and I'm sad there seems to be a barrier between me and so many people I used to be close with. One other piece I should mention is that I've been thinking about the Rust Cole quote in True Detective about committing the heinous sin of becoming a father/parent and part of it resonated with me--I love my children so deeply and would never regret their existence, but now that I don't think I'm volunteering up my eggs for righteous spirits who will be lucky enough to come to a gospel home instead of touching down in some 3rd or 4th world, it seems heavier, creating something where maybe it never existed before. There is a world of pain to perceive and feel. There are joyous moments but there is so much bad news to be broken, so much heartache. Before, I saw having children as a necessary part in my eternal progression and as a favor to others, a way to serve, creating a body which would eventually allow them to be brought home to God. I guess many of my reasons for wanting a smaller family now are reasons my younger self would have considered very selfish, but I also know she wasn't capable of really understanding. It was a feat, what my mother did, it was a superhuman feat of strength and I want to spend my days differently, I want a more manageable family life and I want time to be with my lover. I want to be close with a few instead of semi-close with a hoard.