"Edited to Add"....

This started as a pregnancy blog when I fell pregnant in May 2009 after four years of finding a donor, doing all the counselling / paperwork / tests and trying.

And now, thanks to a 4WD which skidded onto our side of the road, killing our baby daughter at 34w and injuring me, my partner and two of my stepdaughters on 27 December 2009, it has turned into something else. We didn't want this something else, but apparently it is all we've got to go on with.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Things that are lifting my heart today

1. This:

Spring is inexorably on its way. The hairy tree roots down in this hole of mine are starting to come to life.

2. You lot.

3. El Prima sending me pictures of camellia trees bursting into flower like popcorn.

4. An afternoon with P and baby A yesterday - I love that in the one visit I can bounce around my current ideas for the conference paper I am writing with P, *and* practice my baby vocabulary and silly faces with A. ("Ah-goo!" or "Lal!" are my favourites at the moment)

5. The sheer revoltingness of the herbal mixture I am drinking twice a day from my naturopath, along with her confidence that I probably don't need her help to get pregnant anyway. We've had to cancel the next cycle because my work travel next week would have collided with egg pick-up, so this foul-tasting mixture at least lets me feel like something is happening until we start again in mid-August.

6. The tale of Custard the Dragon, and the fact that a friend who knows how much I love this poem just sent me a photo proving that Dulux have named one of their paints "Cowardly Custard".

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Dirt 101

There's a special art to running through crowded city streets.  Speed up, sideways step, watch for a gap.  My heart expands to knock at my ribs and nearly bowl over the people in my path, until I'm all heart - messy, beating, puffing and suddenly seeing all these messy human hearts around me.  A woman sees me running towards her and fear blanks across her face briefly - she looks wildly behind me, her own steps a little quicker.  I have a good reason to run - I don't want to be late for my osteo appointment, but I feel like I've just woken, as though my blood is reaching cells that have been slowly greying.

Things have been really grey lately.  Everything is a big effort.  I'm kind of embarrassed to write about it because this kind of sadness is dull.  I bore myself.  It's as though I'm stuck at the bottom of a big hole in the ground.  Poem by poem, I'm digging myself out, and I know from the voices of loved ones which way is up, but I can't really pretend to be anywhere else at the moment.  I have to make reluctant friends with this situation.

 (Image from here)

So what are you trying to tell me, deep dark hole?  To stop dreaming of the stars (and one particularly bright little star)?  That my little slow-crafted words will come to nothing?  That I am one and the same as the slippery grey-black clay on every side of me?  Come on, hole, teach me your lesson and then we can be done.  I'm not going to be bullied into silence and self-pity.  Enough of that. 

I'm not at all prejudiced against holes in the ground - in fact, my daughter lives in one, as do many of my favourite trees, earthworms and root vegetables.  If dirt is my destiny, then bring it on, dirt.  Show me your microbes, let me remember what dirt smells like, and the grit of it between my fingers.  

Time moves slowly under the earth.  Things are hidden, processes work slowly but powerfully.  Minerals are crushed, underground rivers carved, liquids percolate drip by drip, continental plates grind past one another millimeter by millimeter - all monumental changes occurring at a pace measured in centuries rather than minutes.  What else is down here?  Things unwanted or forgotten, buried and mourned - so many things lost and wasted which are slowly being turned back into the earth itself.  Nothing goes away down here, but is slowly transformed, releasing water and nutrients to feed patient tree roots, or our lawn.  This is where rivers are born.  Nothing flashy or spectacular, just cold humble earth.

Dear hole in the ground, that's what I'd like - some of that persistence - slow elemental momentum.  The ability to slowly work through this sad stuff with earthworms and use it to grow something good. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Bower bird

Your poems and thoughts are handwritten on bits of paper and stuck with stickytape to the shelves around my desk, radiating warmth and giving me a fierceness to face the dementors.  I feel like a bower bird, collecting shiny things and brightly coloured objects, building a little nest for hope to come home to.  Thank you so much for all these small gifts - already I feel stronger and braver and more able to look up from the asphalt and see all the good stuff around me.  

El Prima and I broke with routine last night and went to the Circus!  All human performers - such talented people.  It is so good to look up, and remember all the amazing things that are possible, even on a grey Melbourne Wednesday. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

It's not just the weather (begging for poems)

The greyness has got its hands on me, dragging on every piece of clothing, slowing my brain. And even better, when I look around and ask why thing are so low and heavy at the moment, the greyness answers back (in my own voice) - it's YOU - just boring, sad, can't get anything right old YOU. Sad little tried-to-have-a-baby-but-lost-her, who-knows-if-she'll-have-another-one, probably-won't-ever-finish-that-phd-or-publish-another-article-again YOU. No wonder you're depressed, given that you're so crap at everything.

And, gullible girl that I am, I've been believing it.

Bloody dementors.

Can ask - what are your favourite words for unslumping yourself?  Do you have a spare poem to share? All donations heartfully accepted.

Here's my usual favourite - but it's not doing the trick today unfortunately.

A True Account of Talking to the Sun at Fire Island
By Frank O'Hara

The Sun woke me this morning loud
and clear, saying “Hey! I've been
trying to wake you up for fifteen
minutes. Don’t be so rude, you are
only the second poet I’ve ever chosen
to speak to personally
so why
aren’t you more attentive? If I could
burn you through the window I would
to wake you up. I can't hang around
here all day.”
“Sorry, Sun, I stayed
up late last night talking to Hal.”

“When I woke up Mayakovsky he was
a lot more prompt” the Sun said
petulantly. “Most people are up
already waiting to see if I’m going
to put in an appearance.”
I tried
to apologize “I missed you yesterday.”
“That’s better” he said. “I didn’t
know you’d come out.” “You may be
wondering why I’ve come so close?”
“Yes” I said beginning to feel hot
wondering if maybe he wasn’t burning me
“Frankly I wanted to tell you
I like your poetry. I see a lot
on my rounds and you’re okay. You may
not be the greatest thing on earth, but
you’re different. Now, I’ve heard some
say you’re crazy, they being excessively
calm themselves to my mind, and other
crazy poets think that you’re a boring
reactionary. Not me.
Just keep on
like I do and pay no attention. You’ll
find that people always will complain
about the atmosphere, either too hot
or too cold too bright or too dark, days
too short or too long.
If you don’t appear
at all one day they think you’re lazy
or dead. Just keep right on, I like it.

And don’t worry about your lineage
poetic or natural. The Sun shines on
the jungle, you know, on the tundra
the sea, the ghetto. Wherever you were
I knew it and saw you moving. I was waiting
for you to get to work.

And now that you
are making your own days, so to speak,
even if no one reads you but me
you won’t be depressed. Not
everyone can look up, even at me. It
hurts their eyes.”
“Oh Sun, I’m so grateful to you!”

“Thanks and remember I’m watching. It’s
easier for me to speak to you out
here. I don’t have to slide down
between buildings to get your ear.
I know you love Manhattan, but
you ought to look up more often.
always embrace things, people earth
sky stars, as I do, freely and with
the appropriate sense of space. That
is your inclination, known in the heavens
and you should follow it to hell, if
necessary, which I doubt.
Maybe we’ll
speak again in Africa, of which I too
am specially fond. Go back to sleep now
Frank, and I may leave a tiny poem
in that brain of yours as my farewell.”

“Sun, don’t go!” I was awake
at last. “No, go I must, they’re calling
“Who are they?”
Rising he said “Some
day you’ll know. They’re calling to you
too.” Darkly he rose, and then I slept.