Today I almost put olive oil in my coffee instead of honey. I’ve already called my own mother, with the semi-exaggerated plea of “I’m dying,” asking her to come over so that I can get an hour or two of sleep. Ana and I, we are in the trenches. The glorious and agonizing trenches.
I wanted to start this blog when I was pregnant with Ana, but I didn’t. All that “not good enough” stuff that I don’t have time for anymore was crowding my mind. I wrote a few blog posts, though, including the following. I remember how wonderful this day was, how aware I was that my solitude was fleeting. I was aware, thankfully, and so I cherished the time I did have.
How unaware I was of how this would change me! How truly unaware I was. I am so grateful to have moments like this to look back on.
Sometime in May, 2013.
Mondays are my favorite day to be alone. I make no calls, I go nowhere, I stay home in an empty house. John leaves at 6:15am, my brother well before, and neither are home until very late in the evening. I get at least 14 good hours of silence, and only I and the cat break that silence.
I have never been more excited about anything in my life then I am about becoming a mother. This little baby inside of me already brings me joy and focus that I did not think was possible. As it grows, the joy grows, the possibilities grow, and it feels like my ribs will break outwards- not only from the increasing pressure as they literally expand like bone-wings bound to my body by skin, as they open like the walls of the cave of creation making more room for spirit, but my heart…
My heart, inside my rib cage, it feels like it is no longer inside my rib cage. It has expanded, to fill my body, and sometimes I cannot breathe, for my heart has filled my throat, my eyes, my ears, and it is spilling outwards. I want it to touch pain and transform anger, I want it to spread like balm over the wounds I see in all of the luminous eyes I look into.
Sometimes I recognize that in this joy and love, there is something I must not neglect to mourn. She is my former self, the one I no longer am but always will be. I must mourn her nonetheless. In three and a half months more, on Mondays we will invite a new member to join our solitude, and we will care for him or her just as we care for ourselves on these important days.
Today the cat and I sat outside on a light blue-green sheet, the color a combination of over-grown grass and sky. She took a sand bath while I read about the Black Madonna in all her lustrous manifestations, and then She lay on my book and loved me with her bright green eyes. Yo sé que soy la que eres, I whisper, as the baby kicked so hard that my blue and white striped shirt fluttered over my belly. Estamos todas en la luz de vida. Estamos todas solas, y al misma vez, La Una.
The funny thing is, today is Thursday. Monday I watched 5 episodes of Call the Midwife and sat in John’s new recliner, crying my eyes out every time a baby was born. It doesn’t matter what the day is, all that matters are these little things, these glorious moments. They are the stuff of life.
And just a little something I realized as I re-read this: What I said to my mother is true- I am dying. Many bits of my former self are dying. Selfishness, laziness, fear of failure- those things are dying. I could really go for even one of those 14 hours of solitude- I believe solitude and silence are incredibly important. But I know those days will come again, and I know that here, in the trenches, I am being shaped into something better than I was before.