Standing in some other place

I am busy this evening because today we moved slowly and made space for conversation and connection. How rare that has been lately. One child in the home with crises to be managed, and another little one on the way, and Rose and I find ourselves squeezed for time, for energy, for moments to hold hands and look into each other’s eyes, for conversations to plan, to problem solve, to debrief, to reconnect, for romance, for parenting conversations, for sex, for poetry, and art, and altered states, and dreaming about the future. We divide our tasks and conquer them and find ourselves split and far apart. Companionship becomes a memory. Downtime becomes time to zone out. The idiot box gabbles in the background, making us feel as if we have relaxed, as if we have spent time together, as if we have recharged. Time for us becomes time we have to push someone else away, privacy becomes a thing of closed doors where we used to be naked in the kitchen together. Parts switch out and conceal themselves because those conversations are too hard to have yet. Home becomes a place of divided zones where once it was all our land, all my own territory. Changes to be navigated, a new season in our lives. In the hallway, the trees drop their leaves and crunch underfoot. In the bathroom the tiny violets blossom. I walk around the rooms with that wide, soft padding of late pregnancy and eyes follow my hands rubbing my belly, watching for the baby, waiting for the baby. The washing line is covered in baby clothes that drip with rain. Everything changes.

Rose and I met with our doula today and discussed birth. It was pragmatic, intellectual, options, plans, preferences, risks, solutions to possible problems. But underneath it, I was awash with images and feelings, a dark current running like a river of everything I have ever thought, felt, and feared. We had planned things in our afternoon, errands that need to be run, baby shower preparations that need to be done. I flushed hot and felt ill, dissociated, drunk. The harder I struggled against it, the stronger the tide pulled me in. We sat in the car together and I fell into that other world, the blur in my voice clearing to something deep and soft. Bringing images up from the deeps, the dark side of birth – the horror stories and blood and loss, all dripping with meaning and needing embrace. We sat and talked and listened and found the other side of joy, found the shadow where this space is sacred, where the wounded mother howls, where the night runs black with rain. Behind the advice to run, to disconnect, to bar the windows and make the walls higher and push the dark away I found a deep need to go into it, to connect with the strength of that place, the rawness and intensity and power within it. To say the unsayable things and wear the blood on my face. (This is love in the shadow of your loss, Tamlorn)

I remember us, love. The soft, small voice of the wilds still within us, the thing that cannot be tamed. We’ll find ways to make the minutes stretch, to turn an hour into a year where the stars wheel overhead and nothing in the world exists but us. The world is not all it seems to be, life is not all it appears at first glance or at second. We’ll make a place for us.

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