Friday, February 24, 2012

Welcome to the World Moses...We hope you like it!

After we returned home from the hospital I began to hear a  mourning dove outside our bedroom window. Probably eating the seeds on the ground below our neighbor's bird feeder.

Moments after birth he lay on my chest
 I searched for its meaning....someone said it was a sign of the maternal instinct...someone said it was a sign of healing... someone said it was the symbol of the spirit of God. All these I needed.

Moses, one hour old
I listened for the dove. Its call like a tiny owl, it's presence, the grace of God. I didn't know what it meant, I did not want to mourn. But as I held my tiny baby, not yet a week old, all of me spilled out. I cried and cried and of course everyone said it was hormones. And it was, but something else too.

Moses and Daddy: because I had a C-section Josh held him against his bare chest for a bit until I felt ready.
The anesthesia made me feel out of it. This picture is a day or so after birth.
I have never felt more vulnerable. I have never felt more broken. I have never felt love like this. I can see how one might turn away in horror, locking shut the heart, for fear. There is an old me that would have shut down rather than risk loss. But this me lays down and lets my heart be bulldozed by love. This me mourns, I don't know what, but something must be mourned and healed. Something must be lost and given.

He falls asleep on my chest.
 I can hear him breathing, he can hear my heart
as he has all these months inside.
A kindergarten class at the elementary school where josh works made a book for Moses. They titled it "Welcome to the World Moses"..."we hope you like it." 

Friday, February 10, 2012

I Heard You Speaking: Home Things

"A poet's word, because it strikes true, moves the very depths of our beings." --Gaston Bachelard

Face To Face

In February living stood still.
The birds flew unwillingly and the soul
chafed against the landscape as a boat
chafes against the pier it lies moored to.

The trees stood with their backs turned towards me.
The deep snow was measured with dead straws.
The footprints grew old out on the crust.
Under a tarpaulin language pined.

One day something came to the window.
Work was dropped, I looked up.
The colors flared. Everything turned round.
The earth and I sprang towards each others.

--Tomas Transtromer

Two hands
were all you owned

for food
for love
                --Jean Valentine

Sleepy Sheep, Sweater for Moses by Jericho Hannah

The Virtues of Patience
I walked all day up the mountain. I broke camp beside a lake. The water as still as ice without the echo of winter in its belly. The sound of whales lulls me; there were no whales. I thought of the sheep in the field. I thought of the sheep that fell over onto their backs and died staring up at the sky. I could not sleep. I could not read or eat. Alone in the woods, early spring. I ran down the mountain, left my tent behind. For fear. I was trying then to get over love lost. I was trying for other things too, ways of changing. The ache in the middle of my body felt like a chunk of ice lodged. The dark of that night made my heart quail. All spring I walked in the pasture with the sheep, every change I got. I dreamed of my own sheep, and sweaters made of dyed wool. Vermilion, Cerulean Blue,  Burnt umber, Yellow ochre, Harvest gold, Orchid or Saffron. I saw a vision of my lost love and me in a log cabin, he laid his hand on my belly--a harvest moon. I did not know where I was going or think of places to end up. I woke from dreams sharp as skate blades and remembered the way the ice of the lake felt on my cheek as a young girl when I used to lie with my ear to the frozen lake listening for the sound of breaking...a sound not unlike the call of whales.

Put a bird on it.


I listened.
We floated together in water
of a bath with
one lit candle,

tall as the tower of Babel,
white like a light house
blinking. But these
were calm waters.

You were content
floating inside of my floating
with the heat of the water
and the winter cold unknown

You did not want
me to hear; I heard you
speaking, not in tongues.
A long sigh

cast like a shadow
across the face of the moon,
a cloud drifting
as in dreams.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Ever So Brief Space of the Present

The pregnant belly looks like a turtle shell at the end.
One night I take photos and wonder if my son will want to see such photos someday.
I have my doubts.
The weather interests me only when it shifts, which is all the time in Vermont.
Cheez-its and cranberry cocktail = barf.

Self portrait of son.

I sleep as long as I can and then I sleep longer. My hips bruise from the pressure of my weight, I roll from side to side. I don't want to speak with anyone. If only I spoke with someone then I'd quit thinking about myself and feel better. I am so grumpy I am starting to form a resentment against my child and he is only due tomorrow.

Light Sources

Duck at the farm
 We walked to the lake that day. Wylie says its a four mile trek, but it doesn't feel that way. We found this duck on a stool along the path. Josh photographed it. I stood in the frame to be bossy and overbearing and generally obnoxious, though he didn't really mind. I picked a white stone from the shore and kept it for my own, though you're not supposed to take the rocks. I take them because I'm not supposed to (also I follow other rules so it evens out) and because I like to have things to mark points in time as though these things are strung with invisible wire that reaches back into time to that moment. I know that I will someday soon remember all this waiting with sweet sorrow, my son a grown man, asking questions of his own life.

The lake in early February
 I took a picture of the lake in February. No ice covers its slim surface. The water ripples like pudding, like skin, like water. I miss the ice. I miss skating on the lake in Minnesota. My life is composed of missing and remembering that colors the way I see everything in the ever so brief space of the present. I love to remember. It is not a burden. Even the ugliest things can be made into stories or songs or poems or movies that make you feel alive, in awe.

Papa Bear reading The Hunger Games in bed
Papa bear is my favorite bear. When he is a good bear he spends his nights reading himself to sleep. Right now he has a beard and haircut that remind me of a Russian poet, though he is not Russian. I think he is Welsh and Italian, maybe Irish too. Papa Bear is a ninth generation Vermonter so Mosey Bear will be a tenth generation Vermonter. I will never be a Vermonter...instead I will be Mama Minnesota Bear and anyone who wants to live in Minnesota or used to live in Minnesota or drove through there one time can call themselves a Minnesotan.

Last night we had dinner with our dear friends. They told us of a quote they'd recently found about having children. It went something like this:

Having children is deciding to let your heart live outside your body for the rest of your life.

Monday, February 6, 2012


Late Summer Lambs at Shelburne Farms
Still waiting.... it's 40 degrees in Vermont today. The sun is out, it feels like spring. Josh and I went for a long walk at Shelburne Farms yesterday trying to start labor. I was hoping to see the sheep in the field but remembered that they're in the barn for the season and I think lambing season will soon begin. I didn't think I'd get this irritable at the end, but I'm so anxious and worried and want to sleep until it's time for him to be born. He will most likely be born via C-Section, which we could schedule but are trying not to as we think it better for him to send the signal that he's ready. It's also good for me to at least begin labor so my body's more ready.  But if he's not here by Friday, we'll schedule something for next week. This is what I think will happen because then all of my plans will have been foiled. And, reading about the year of the Dragon in the Chinese Zodiac, knowing about the ways of the Aquarius, I think this child is going to be as stubborn and independent as they come, not that me or his father are any different...but, we shall see and very soon.