Archive for December, 2007

Newborn

Sunday, December 23rd, 2007

jude_hand_crop
Mood: Sweet
Drinking: Chai

There is a new person in the world. Small and innocent. His miniature feet are like velvet. His head smells of meadows and milk.

I am utterly in love.

My sister is a miracle worker, bringing such a perfect wee thing into being. I am so proud. So proud of her, and so in awe.

“You’re a woman now,” I said to her in the labor room. And we both laughed. But I was serious.

She has gone beyond. Someday, perhaps, I will follow. But until then, I’ll stand here in wonder that such a thing is possible. Nothing, and then life. Emptiness, and then a perfect small person.

It’s shaping up to be a wonderful Christmas.

Over the last few days, with the phone call that it was happening, it was happening Right Now! And then the trip to the hospital, the chaos of it all culminating in the arrival of new flesh and blood… It’s such an overwhelming experience. Over the last few days I kept thinking of a poem that I discovered in a poetry workshop earlier this year.

All I could remember was that it was written from the perspective of a newly born baby, and that I was deeply moved the first time I read it.

So I dug through my piles of poetry and found it there among the heap. It’s called “First Hour”, by American poet Sharon Olds, from her book The Unswept Room (2002)…

That hour, I was most myself. I had shrugged
my mother slowly off, I lay there
taking my first breaths, as if
the whir of the room was blowing me
like a bubble. All I had to do
was go out along the line of my gaze and back,
out and back, on gravity’s silk, the
pressure of the air a caress, smelling on my
self her creamy blood. The air
was softly touching my skin and tongue,
entering me and drawing forth the little
sighs I did not know as mine.
I was not afraid. I lay in the quiet
and looked, and did the wordless thought,
my mind getting its oxygen
direct, the rich mix by mouth.
I hated no-one. I gazed and gazed,
and everything was interesting, I was
free, not yet in love, I did not
belong to anyone, I had drunk
no milk yet, no-one had
my heart. I was not very human. I did not
know there was anyone else. I lay
like a god, for an hour, then they came for me,
and took me to my mother.

-Lo, who is celebrating the season of miracles.

Mistletoe and Miscellany

Saturday, December 15th, 2007

poinsettaMood: List-Checking-Off-ish
Drinking: Daily Dose of Water

No matter how much you plan, how many vows you make, cookies you bake, lights you string, fa la la… No matter what, this season always gets to you with its busy-ness. With its sometimes sincere but often forced cheerfulness. Its overwhelming red and greenness. Its sugar overdoses and last minute gift panic.

I’m not panicking, though. I’m roadtripping.

Boy and I are packing the LeeLoo up and driving north to Portland to visit his sister, a few friends, and LeeLoo’s Internet Boyfriend, Henry D. Monster.

LeeLoo’s excited only because she saw some tasty treats and one of her babies go into a duffle bag, so she knows she’s going along. She has no idea what’s in store for her. She and the Monster have not yet met in real life, but now that they’re taking their relationship offline (i.e. out of me and Henry’s mom’s myspace photo exchanges and fake dog-messages and into the dogs’ actual lives), well, much cuteness and butt-sniffing shall be had! There will be photos. Count on it.

I’ve got other plans to avoid holiday panic — I’m boycotting the company Secret Santa thingie, for one.

Even better, my sister’s baby is due between Christmas and New Year’s, and even though he hasn’t even taken his first breath, he’s already got more presents than Boy does. I can’t stop buying adorable wee t-shirts that say stuff like “I do my own stunts.”

My parents’ plane touches down in CA soon, and since holidays with the entire Witmer family don’t happen often anymore, it’s quite exciting to think about the full house and long chats by the fire that we’ll soon be having. Actually, nervous energy getting spread around the maternity ward waiting room is probably more like it.

And in the midst of all the holidays and hullaballoo, I’ve still got some training to do. I’m up to 9 miles now, and my half marathon date creeps steadily closer. I’m still fundraising for Team in Training/The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. You’ve got another week or so to sponsor me, if you want.

There are also a few poetry readings in the works for early next year. Dates to be determined. I’ll let you know when I know.

-Lo, who misses sword-sized icicles.

Enlightenment

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

light1
Mood: Moody
Drinking: Drinks

Enlightenment

In the deep darkness
this little light
casts shadows bigger
than the possibility of death.

Sometimes the gloom
is best left undisturbed.
Illumination only increases
the magnitude of nightmares.

This is why we lie to children.

We say “you can be anything
you want to be.” But we know
the actual possibilities
are so much less than infinite.

In the dark before dawn,
the little ones build delicious
desperate dreams, extravagant
gossamer schemes held together
by hope and whole milk.

There is always room
for beautiful delusions
when you cannot see
how fast the walls
are closing in.

We all break so easily
in love and darkness.
You spend 10 years
trying to kill yourself
only to realize that
what you really want
is to live.

The little light winks on
somewhere in the deep
and by its glow you finally see
just how far you have to go.

-Lo, who is going, going, gone.