Monday, January 31, 2011

Dreaming of the Dream...

Walking on the first spring-like day of the year, I saw it.  A brilliantly arranged flock of birds, dancing in the wind patterns only they could see.  The sky was vivid blue, and their inky blackness swooped in perfect harmony. 

It made me wonder...

Why aren't human beings in such beautiful communal union with their surroundings...with each other? 

Why do we walk down the street, passing the faces of our community with barely a glimmer of recognition? 

Why do we eat alone, in our private homes, away from the fires of other hearths.  In fact...where are the hearths to begin with? 

Where are our sisters and brothers?  Our uncles and aunts?  Our grandmothers and grandfathers?  Our parents? 

Where are they?

Often, we, in our nuclear families, are alone.  Striving to make things work with less than we have ever had.  Yeah, there is more "stuff"...but less substance. 

Where are the elders who could pick you up if you fell?  Where are the wizened folks who look to teach the ones who are trying to find their way? 

I look into the sky, and I see community.  I look into the fields and see the grazing deer, and community is there as well.  I look into the town, and see the cars rushing past each other...each person with his own agenda and plan for the day, the week, the year...

My children go to Aikido classes, and there, they see other children who they will laugh with as they learn the art of non-violent defense.  And then, at the end of the hour, we all bustle back into our cars and drive off to our homes. 

Once in our homes....distractions abound.  Homework, housework, meal prep, consumption......bedtime.

I look out the window and see the stars twinkling together in the sky...and I wonder where my community is. 
I wonder how many tomorrows will be spent in a human created isolation that contrasts with what I believe humans, as social creatures, were meant to have. 

In another time...We would have played and worked together.  We would have cooked and eaten together.  Our children would grow up and learn together.  And we would commune with the stars, moon and sun together.  We would birth our children together.  And mourn our losses together.  Our husbands would bond together.  And we would nurture together.  We would KNOW each other, just as the birds in the sky flying in perfect harmony know each other.  And we would be there for each other...because, we would BE each other.  

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Get PUBLISHED at Exhale!!!

Attention writers, poets, creators!!!!! EXHALE needs submissions for the early spring issue...ASAP! I know there are huge quantities of talented folks out there & we need you! Please share your ups & downs of your roller-coaster existence with loss, infertility, PAL, grief & healing...etc.  The theme for spring is "roller coasters"; be creative...let your muse speak.  Send your submissions here, and they will be edited by Kristen Binder of Once a Mother and moi. HURRY HURRY!!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Another time...another place.

I spoke to my dear friend Amy today.  As I relayed to her the reality of fear in my gut, I was comforted by her wise reply.  "Sara, the body you have today is completely different from the body you had two years ago.  Everything about you is different.  Everything about everything is different." 

I heard her loud and clear.  You can't project the past onto the future, because, even if "you" think "you" are the same person who might get the same thing...."you"....aren't. 

What do I mean by that? 

Hummmm.....well....let's see.  .  .In biology, we learned that we are a compilation of ever changing matter.  We breathe out our cells, and breath in newness.  Every part of every one of us is completely different every single year.  This is why we sometimes witness miraculous change in disease factors....why we see things differently from year to year....we are ever changing.  We are not stagnant.  We are....change.

So, though memory and circumstance plague us, and tell us that something reality, it ISN'T.  Not NOW anyway. 

I was a woman who watched her beautiful teen son on the brink of death.  His stunning face mangled by harsh pavement.  And though I have those vivid and horrible memories....I am not THERE.  I am here.   The lungs that breathed in the smells of the hospital do not have a trace of that reality in them anymore.  I am here. 

I was a woman who held a dead baby in her arms, drifting away in a haze of allergic reaction to a poison specific to my body.  Opiates.  They screw me a very real way....a deadly way.  My body, two years later...has no trace of that day.  I remember it.  It has made me who I am....but my physical not the same.  Nor is my understanding of life.  Or death.

I was a woman who bled to death...only to discover that the cause was a retained baby that SOMEONE should have known was there. one did.  Not until....later. 

That woman was filled with masses of blood clots and rotting tissue that, at one time, had been my twin son.  Rotting tissue that filled me with heaviness and poison....rotting tissue that could have killed me from blood poisoning....

Months of regular periods have flushed out that uterus...months of exercise and healthy eating have cleaned this system, leaving me healthier than ever before. 

There is memory...oh yes....muscle memory...cell memory...nervous system memory......'s a memory.  Not a physical reality.

What has happened doesn't mar the now with anything more than...memory.

Somehow, hearing my friend describe my body as a different a different a different circumstance...

Well, it gave me a smile.  It gave me some hope.  It gave me a vision of reality that I really needed.

I remember.  I remember it all.  And, I am willing to make some new memories in honor of the old.  I am a new person.  A bigger person.  A wider person.  A more whole, if somewhat broken, person.

I see life in a new way.

I'm open to life in a new way.

I want a new way.

So....2011....BRING IT ON!  This girl is NEW.  This woman has potential!  I will not be defined by the past.

I am here.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Roller coasters

Roller coasters. 

They are part of life.  A very real part of life.

Right now, I'm calling out to you talented people who read here and write elsewhere to submit something to Exhale magazine.  I'm co-editing for it right now, and we need all types of submissions, regarding the theme "Roller coasters".  Exhale is a mag. devoted to the subjects of miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal loss, PAL, baby death in general...and infertility.  It is generally a very supportive and uplifting, sympathetic place for those of us who know...and those of us who know someone who knows.

It is a hard place to be.  "In the know".

So much nicer to be in the dark...where a pregnancy is greeted with hope, and phone calls of laughter and delight for the future you know will be.  Where the question is: "What are you having?"

See it there?

"What are you HAVING?"  The assumption that you will...after all of the pregnancy discomforts...have SOMETHING.

When you know that it's not always like that....when you know that you may end up with nothing but tears and empty

It's overwhelmingly different.

Unexpectedly different.

At least...I find it so.

Here I am...on a journey I'd given up on.  And instead of the joy I expected, I am finding myself wading in terror.

The terror of what if's.  What if I die?  What if I lose him or her?  What if....what if.........what if........

The terror.

It surprised me.  Took me off guard.

I expected to feel nothing but elation.

I did not expect the terror.

I did not expect the fear.

I did not know....that it would be waiting for me with sharpened teeth that would present me with nightly dreams of death and loss.  Dreams that would impact my days....cause me to seem off balance...weepy.

Roller coasters.  I enjoyed them as a young person.  I loved the thrill of losing my breath.  I adored the pressure pushing me back as I whipped around in a delightful kind of horror.  I'd rush back into the line as soon as the thrill was over.  MORE!! MORE!!! 

Not now.

Now, roller coasters are symbols of being out of control.  The last time I went on one was shortly after my eldest son's brain injury.  A time wherein the security of life was at best...shaky.  I hopped on with my kids, thinking I was in for an exuberant ride of a lifetime.   Strapped in, I felt the ride going up...up...UP....and suddenly, we were free falling.   My mouth opened in a voiceless scream.  I could feel my heart pounding maniacally in my chest.   I was shaking in fear so powerful I could NOT scream...and I started laughing in a crazy I'd lost my marbles.  When the ride was over I heard my kids laughing and proclaiming it the best ride EVER....I couldn't stop laughing, and I ran toward my husband who had opted to NOT go.  I fell into his arms, and the sobs began.  Hard, racking sobs that wouldn't stop.  My kids were shocked.  One minute, I was laughing out of control...and the next?  sobbing.....My husband, patting my hair, explained to onlookers that the ride had been a little much for me.

What an understatement.

Anyway, the point of all of this is to explain that right now...I feel like the ride is a little much.  I feel out of breath...afraid. . .I don't want to free fall anymore.

I want to take a ride on the merry go round, or something benign like one of those motorized car rides where you stay on a track, even if you opt to not steer. 

I used to like the adrenaline rush of a roller coaster.  That was before I understood that roller coasters in life sometimes land you in arenas of death.  Where all you have in your arms is someone you loved that you have to bury.

It's the understanding that you'd rather NOT tell anyone...because telling someone means you might also have to tell them that it's all over.  It's the reality that you don't tell your kids...because you can't bear to hurt them again...can't bear to tell them it's over.  Again. don't tell.  And, it is the very act of not being able to tell that reminds you there is a REASON not to tell.

Because...there are no guarantees. 

But, when you don't tell....when you choose to keep it inside...considering holding back on telling your family until you have a living breathing babe IN ARMS...that you understand that to give life is to walk side by side with the possibility of death.  You don't tell...because you can't bear to face the possibility of loss.

I want to step onto a bumper boat ride...where the only threat is a little water in my face.  Perhaps even a lot of water...but...nothing scary.  Nothing....deadly.

So, on that note...please contact me or Kristen Binder, the amazing mama at  "Once a Mother" if you have something you would like to submit to the next Exhale.

With love....and hope....