It’s funny, isn’t it. How we zone in on the things that happen in life that signal an ending of something and the beginning of something else.
They roll on in, these momentous happenings, and soon they pass: although we do wish we could cling to the beauty of them. We do wish we could hold on to their quiet precious hands just that little bit longer than they allow us to. So we can breathe them in. So we can close our eyes and know something bigger than ordinary is actually happening to us.
That’s a lot of waffling just to get to the point isn’t it, my lovely bloggy friends. And yet I’m certain you all know me well enough to understand that waffling is my way of holding on to the precious moments of my life a little longer than the average human might.
Without further ado…
It’s a girl.
A beautiful, darling, button nose girl: isn’t that just the loveliest thing?
She’s been flip-side of my belly for a week and a day. It’s been a foggy time. A time where my hormones have screamed abnormal things and my rational side has begged to make it all feel a little more normal than that. But I am perfectly okay, and that is just about all I am asking of this post birth phase.
I am being so, so, so well cared for by a husband I love even brighter the second time around. I am kept busy giggling at my other children who tumble around, daily, and so often remind me of tiger cubs at play (especially when the tiger mum nudges them away and gently snaps at their tumbling bodies, in order to pull them into line.)
The sweet divinity that lingers at the edge of life.
Writers and artists know it well. Actors and musicians feel it within their bodies. And none of us have any clue as to what it is. Not even those who believe, beyond a doubt, that they do know the source of this most beautiful, magical wind.
To understand this force would surely be like bottling and dissecting infinity. How could you bottle a never ending force like that? More to the point, how could you ever truly understand what it was or where it had come from? I just don’t think it would be humanly possible.
I read a book a little while ago, by Sue Monk Kidd, named ‘The Book of Longings’. I’ve been re reading it, and last night I couldn’t help but smile as I came across a familiar idea. The invisible divinity. She mentions it in the book, and right away I knew I had to share it with you all. Surely as readers and writers, both, you have felt this invisible magic. How beautiful it is to know we are not alone in our recognition of it.
The act itself of writing evoked powers, often divine, but often unstable that entered the letters and sent a mysterious animating force rippling through the ink.
Sue Monk Kidd. The Book Of Longings
At University, I studied writing. One of the units I studied was called, ‘Writing: Finding your Voice’ but the thing was…it never seemed as simple as that, to me. That we each have a ‘voice’ we can use to write with in a unique and beautiful way, or that one could simply ‘find’ this voice. Like finding a tennis ball beneath a shrubby, weedy bush in the desert.
All I can say about this mysterious voice is that I feel its magic arise when I relax my entire body and stop thinking. I’ve heard the phrase thrown about that, to evoke the force, we need to ‘get out of our own way’. To me, this is both entirely accurate and also impossible to comprehend.
Just whose way are we getting out of exactly?
And what, exactly, is the mysterious animating force behind it all?
Cultural differences. Familial differences. How could you ever say a person is wrong in their beliefs, traditions or values? And what do you do if one person in a relationship is satisfied with the chosen boundaries, and another is left feeling unfulfilled, unsupported, traumatised, even.
What do you do?
One mother may birth a child with the expectation that her job is simply to raise a child to adulthood and set her free when she comes of age. The child has been given life. She will be guided. She will be taught to fend for herself. But a mother is a mother, says the mother. Her boundaries are strict, yet fair, and she has no intention to provide for her child beyond basic care, until she dies. She has provided well, therefore, she has loved.
Another mother may birth a child with the expectation that her job has only just begun, and will never end. She is love, and she will give and give and give, in every way, to this child until her final breaths. She will provide the role of parent. She will provide the role of best friend and confidant. Her boundaries are far and wide: anywhere love lives, she and her daughter will wander, together, always. She has provided, therefore, she has loved.
What is a mother?
It is an individual question.
It is an individual answer.
And it is only one of the question answer combinations of life with no black or white answer to relieve us of conflict and struggle.
The rules of life and love.
There are none.
But there are many.
How easy it is to fight for our right to be right.
How difficult it is to find true peace amidst the chaos of life.
The oddities of humanity. The neuroses that so often become us that really have nothing to do with who we are, at all, or what’s best for our health, wellbeing and growth.
Take breakfast, for example.
My body doesn’t know that breakfast is a man-made occasion, and yet, still, I choose to feed it specific foods such as toast, cereal, orange juice or coffee at the very time it expects to find them in my life. The morning.
My body, I’m fairly certain, just needs food. To be nourished. It doesn’t care if what I eat in the morning is not, what I might consider, ‘breakfast food’. Only the odd little whisper of my brain cares about that. Should I listen? Or should I challenge what it has to say?
It’s not just cultural expectations around breakfast that rouse me. For too many years, I allowed the cultural narrative of suppressing emotional vulnerability to rule my choices, and, as a consequence, I lost the ability to live with my heart. Goodness gracious me. My precious life moments. Potential soul singing moments, destroyed because I succumbed to a life story that, ultimately, had nothing to do with the truth of who I am.
I have no regrets. Every wrong turn has brought me to this place of strength, wholeness and home, and I am grateful for the rocky roads I’ve travelled thus far. How could I be anything but grateful for the ways it has all helped to shape and expand my perspective?