Sunday, June 5, 2011

Stepping Westward

What is green in me
darkens, muscadine.
If woman is inconstant,
good, I am faithful to
ebb and flow, I fall
in season and now
is a time of ripening.
If her part
is to be true,
a north star,
good, I hold steady
in the black sky
and vanish by day,
yet burn there
in blue or above
quilts of cloud.
There is no savor
more sweet, more salt
than to be glad to be
what, woman,
and who, myself,
I am, a shadow
that grows longer as the sun
moves, drawn out
on a thread of wonder.
If I bear burdens
they begin to be remembered
as gifts, goods, a basket
of bread that hurts
my shoulders but closes me
in fragrance. I can
eat as I go.

--Denise Levertov

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Whither I go

I was never one for being tied down. Restlessness is part of the fabric of my being. If I don't get up and go once in a while, I'm subject to stress and migraines. I've been trying to reconcile this state of being with the state of being a mother, but the fact is that motherhood is surprisingly non-negotiable. Thus, the perfect solution eludes me.

Post-partum depression expert Vivienne Wellburn writes that, "after we have given birth it is as if we wake up to discover that a mountain of sand has been deposited in front of the door of our home. Some women get to work energetically to dig routes out...They find marvelously inventive ways to cope with the situation... Some try to dig a way through and get buried; others just look at it, feel defeated, retreat within their four walls and give up."

My experience with the wall of sand has involved all of these tactics, sometimes all within the same 15 minutes.

The pile of sand gets diminished as your kids get older, and heck, there may be a day when you miss that pile of sand, that excuse to stay holed up with the new little love of your life.

But for now, I struggle with the need to travel and experience the world with the need to care for a young one. My solution this week is to leave my little pile of sand behind and experience the wide world alone, without my child. Yes, taking a long trip--the longest thus far--without my Avery.

Motherhood is a mixed bag. Mixed feelings crash around in my heart. But I know she's in good hands with her dad. And I know that I need this for my own well-being.

See you later, Atlanta. Take care of my baby while I'm gone. Portland, here I come.

Friday, April 29, 2011