Six days

Since this experiment started I have observed with interest what it takes to inform my blog, how much reading, conversing, how much life living it takes to filter into a post. How it all has to mix, and brew, settle, and then flow out into a stream from my head, through my heart, over my fingers and into the cloud… It feels like magic sometimes, both black and white.

This was my last weekend as an unmarried woman, I spent it mostly in the company of new friends and my family – it has been emotional. My cousin is leaving for England in 11 days, Sunday we had a farewell gathering. I didn’t expect to feel as heavy in my heart as I did when I left. The feeling still sits there, as I type this. He has been like an older brother to me in many ways, the place I would run to when life and love were being rude with me, I will miss him more than I can express. (The mirth of his laughter ringing in my ears, and the warmth of his hugs in my chest)

The wedding is six days away. The paper work is 90% done, the Ceremony is outlined and approved, my dress is ready, I hope the weather will play along, and let us hold the ceremony outside (it has been raining a fair bit lately) whatever it will be, will be, and it feels good to be in a state of surrender about it. There is still work to do, I have the unity circle marriage certificate to write, the feather arrangements to make for Darcy, Claire and myself, while I entertain the idea of baking a simple wedding cake… We’ll see.

Today I visit little Jasmine, she’ll be coming home in a week or so, today I’ll know for sure. Even knowing I’m going to see her cannot lift the sadness on my chest – so here I leave you – Lightly updated. (love)

Making a personal connection

This week has been all about Recovery.

The word itself has so many connotations, depending on your experience and perspective, but here is what it means to me, and the path that this one idea is taking through my life so far…

The first recovery frontier I had to face was recovering from a lineage of sexual secrecy and shame. My Grandmother, Mother, and several of my family members (including me) were all teenage mothers. This was a source of bafflement for me, as each generation was simply perpetuating the mistakes of the one before, as though there was no learning, even from each others experiences. This made me angry, and sad, because it was a symptom of a major lack in honest communication, woman to woman. I guess the best way to describe it is to tell you that although we are obviously lusty women, there was no talking openly about sex, our part in it, how it worked, and what to expect as we became sexual beings – having a twofold outcome. half of us went out and blindly experimented with it, and the other half became sexually reclusive. The worst part is watching the cycle repeat itself because these women refuse to claim their responsibility – the need to openly communicate with their daughters about their experiences. If you were sexually curious, and active by age 14, what makes you think that your daughter (now 14) isn’t? (dare I pose the question for fear of the dreaded backlash) The truth hurts, but what hurts more is leaving a girl child you love, uneducated, uninformed. What lies at the root of this? Shame. The shame of having to tell your story, to share the experiences of pain born from your own lack of information. I have made a commitment to the sharing of shame, to stop the cycle, because if I had to watch my daughter suffer at the hands of misinformation I would be all to aware that the responsibility for her pain would be mine. Not the the guy who “took advantage of her” because she would not be vulnerable to that kind of attack if she were armed with information from a source she trusts. There is no way she could be conned if she had been shown the pitfalls of the con.

The second recovery frontier had to do with illness, with disease. This is a more esoteric concept, because I have come to believe that no Doctor knows better than you what is happening within your being. They don’t know what you’ve been eating, how much sleep you’ve been getting, what (if any) dreams you’re experiencing, what your fears and hopes are. They are not looking at you as a whole, instead they are focusing in on the symptom, and how to stop you feeling it. In other words the best they can do is suppress your symptoms, so you can get back to “work”. Suppression is NOT recovery, and from my own experience it leads to the symptom reappearing in your life. Like an ignored child, it just gets more and more frustrated, louder and louder. I started to realise that my symptoms were my bodies way of getting my attention, and the sooner I paid attention the less complicated the recovery. Most often my body wants better nutrition, more hydration, and quality rest. Simple solutions when you come to think of it. Far simpler than your health care professional would like you to know, they’d much rather you stayed on the medication cycle, because that really helps them make the payments on their new Merc and that holiday place in Llundudno. If you decided to listen to your body instead of listening to them, and simply got the 18 hours of sleep you are craving, how would they pay for their lifestyle? We are, after all, supporting them. The worst was listening to my Mother’s Oncologist tell us how although this was a new medication she was going to double the script because she was going away to Spain for two weeks, and that if my mother was suffering from the treatment, well, um, too bad! She’d get back and check the dose – and, well, if you’ve spat up all your teeth between now and then here is the number for a great orthodontist who specializes in that sort of thing (not cheep but, what other option do you have?). These institutions operate by preying on our fear, and it is Fear that is at the root of us not recovering a mastery of our physical bodies.

The third, and most recent area of recovery, is the recovery of my own spirit. I have had to admit a disease of my emotions – and just as the Dr. suppresses my physical symptoms and calls it medicine, my society seeks to suppress my feelings and calls it civilization, calls it polite. Teaches me from an early age to look up to the people who ignore their inner world in order to better function in the outside world. Big boys don’t cry, and Good girls, never get angry… Imprinting the message in all males to suppress their feelings of vulnerability and insecurity, and all females to suppress their feelings of frustration and rage. At the root of our inability to express our spirituality lies this suppression. We are further separated from our own spirit, by the merchants of “spirit” – the religious institutions who, like the medical institutions prey on our fear of death,  prey upon our fear of being stigmatized, of being excluded, of being the outsider, of being damned to hell.

What I feel is as I recover the mastery of these aspects of myself, I am better able to function in the world. I respect myself first, I understand better what I need to do for my body to function well,  and what I have to share for my mind to function well. Somehow by joining these forces, mind and body, my spirit has stared to wake up. Not that this is always a comfortable experience. Just one, I feel, that is overdue.

My own Jasmine Revolution

I dreamed of Jasmine and we found her. Now Michael dreams with her every night. Here is the litter, all nursing, little puppy grunts and sucks – i cannot tell you how my heart is warmed by knowing this little fuzzy girl will be coming to live with us very soon. The finger belongs to the breeder Rita – she’s pointing at Jasmine’s head… that’s my little girl… Their mommy, a bitch named River, is only 18 months old. This is her first litter… six gorgeous little pups – three coloured and three white. All weighing almost exactly the same at birth – speaks of a healthy well fed, nurtured bitch giving her all for the little ones in her belly. They are beautiful, healthy, and strong – you cannot tell the first born from the runt, and that is unusual in a litter of pups. I feel like River has been a surrogate for me, carrying and birthing a child i could not myself. I had thought of being a surrogate – I managed my pregnancies well, and loved the triumph of giving birth – i would do it over if i did not have to financially support, and raise the child – it would be wonderful to have a little life in my belly – and strange as it sounds i would relish the opportunity to give birth again. It was such a powerful and wonderful experience.

Birth in fact has been much on my mind lately – i have told my birth stories to many people and have had as many different responses to my stories – some sit quiet and just wait for me to finish – others ask questions, i have the feeling that these stories have the ability to wake the slumbering awareness of the power of birth in some people – Michael loves it when i tell stories about being pregnant, about the births of both kids, and of what it was like when they were little, breastfeeding, nappy changing, and the sleep deprived mommy zombie that i was…I sometimes feel so sad that i will never do that again, i will never feel a little foot or elbow digging into my ribs, never feel the pull and the urgent need to hold a crying baby to my breast to feed, never rock a little fevered head to sleep, with hushed lullaby’s and my own worry for a child’s recovery. Never learn another baby’s secret language of love and need… although i had all these experiences, is this longing my biological clock ticking or is it something more?

I have so many friends who despite the desire to give birth naturally ended up one way or another having surgical intervention, and i see in them when i speak of the triumph of birth, a sadness, a loss of something, almost as if they had been robbed, but they’re not sure what of… I saw this look on a friend yesterday although she is only six months pregnant, she has no other option but a c section under complete sedation, because of a major spinal injury years ago that left her with a metal rod in her back. She won’t even see her baby born – and i felt like such a shit for talking so animatedly of the joy of delivering my son into my own hands, looking at him, feeling his weight, and pressing him to my chest – the midwife was kind enough to keep her distance, and i was left to do what was most natural, most obvious, and the most beautiful, if bloody, experience of my entire life. From that point on, as a woman you know what you are capable of, you know that you can endure, and even control a pain that most people cringe at the mere thought of. You are woman, you roar, you bring life, and your body holds all the tools and secrets to keep that little thing warm, fed and protected.

An artist I follow on face book calls her page the mandala journey – she did a Caesarean piece which spoke volumes to me –  in it the mother is disconnected by a line from what is happening with her uterus with her child.Suspended in an ether sea, far removed from what is really happening. The word spinal block makes me cringe more than the word contraction – Spinal Block – fucking frightening, yet the choice for so many, because it means that you will be separated from your pain, from your uterus, from the responsibility of birth, and the cost will be that you will never know just what you are capable of – you will never know that you can overcome that which you thought was impossible – I’m glad i did it the old fashioned low intervention way I’m glad i bled and pushed and felt my body would tear in two – because it didn’t, and the moment my children were delivered i was free from my pain and worry, they breastfed immediately, i bathed, dressed and came home (the same day). I slept with my children in my arms skin to skin, i learned their secret language, and we were joined in heart and mind, as we still are today – I will not be made to feel ashamed for the strength and courage i displayed in the face of so much resistance to the obviousness of the truth – i am better for having had natural births, i am realised as a woman, a lover and mother – I did not have to suffer the ravages of drawn out labour, because i trusted my instincts, i let my body do as she knew to do, i removed my intellect and became almost animal, i believed in my ability to deliver, and i have been blessed with an overwhelming sense of my strength ever since – i will not be ashamed of this – not any more.

what lies beneath

Yesterday i had to do a very hard thing –

I’m not very good at letting people know how I am really feeling, particularly when how I’m really feeling is shattered. I tend to put on the happy face, and always spread the word of the silver lining…even when i cannot see it myself. It’s a perpetual nightmare because i know exactly what to say to pass for stable and sane, when the truth is, I couldn’t find my way out of the brown paper bag that is my depression with both hands and a set of fucking directions… OK so I’m depressed, but that doesn’t mean that my life has stopped – my mother died six months ago, and my father moved on to a relationship within a week – he was living with the new woman, before my mother was even cremated… when i tried talking to him about my fears, disappointments and feelings he told me that in a straight choice – her vs me – i would lose, so i should just drop it…

wait… back up – this has been going on for longer than that – but i won’t bore you with all of it, suffice to say that my life is like a strange assortment of odd, sad and wonderful things, but at the root, right down in the core of me, it feels like I’m struggling under the weight of a sadness that just won’t shift – i choose each day to do my best, dress becomingly, challenge my mind, do for others, create, accept what is etc…perhaps i just have to live like this until i die? Why is happiness so vague?

anyway – lately my best friend has been going through some major (mostly self inflicted) relationship shit – which has made her kids nervous and sad – i love these kids, and have felt trapped between this rock and that hard place, because as much as i want to be able to help, this kind of crazy is just beyond me… i won’t share the details, but – it’s a fucking ungodly mess, and the kids are bearing the brunt as usual with her -so much so that i have to take a step back, and realise that at this time – the “girl side” in my life is a massive let down! with the wedding getting closer every day, and an agreement that she would bear witness, and thereby be a part of my marriage, i had to acknowledge that there was a knot growing in my gut – it was getting tighter and tighter, until i realised that for once i will have to let the happy face slip – for once i will have to honor my feelings above the possibility of hurting hers – and i withdrew not only my support of her in this madness she has created, but, had to say that i don’t want any part of that madness touching my marriage. She says she understands – i have my doubts…

God – if you’re out there? I could use a little rainbow – a little ray of light to carry me through, because i feel like a lead pipe about to inflict a death blow to the head of an innocent…

It’s ON

For those following the saga of the wedding, you’ll know that it took me by surprise, and then we hit the Home Affairs road block… Well I’m happy to announce that the road block is cleared and the wedding is set for April the third… Yipeeee! Almost exactly one month from today.

It seems strange to me that if you want something, you have to release your attachment to it. I was so upset when it seemed that we would have to postpone the wedding, it was like a black storm cloud hanging over my head, and i was driving (not only) myself crazy, over thinking, and questioning “what does this mean?” “is this a sign?”

The answers are simple – what does this mean? it means you have to deal with some red tape and it is a sign to keep your documents in order  – that’s all.

Now to plan the invitations to an entirely online wedding – we will be streaming our ceremony live to the web for any and all to join us. Will keep you posted as we go xxx Just had to publish my joy and relief!