Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Posted by Maggie May Labels: Babies To Teenagers
Grace continues to elude me. Moments of grace, yes. But graceful living? I eat and realize I am stuffing my mouth as if it were a hole I am filling with sod. I leave my car so carelessly the seat-belt hangs disjointed and ruptured between the inside and outside. I clean dishes so aggressively they fly from my fingers and shatter against each other. I cook haphazardly and burn my arm in hot grease.
I have always been a passionate person, since my earliest memory of self, the little me who spent hours every late night, long after my parents were asleep, tiptoeing with tears in my eyes to where our white cat Sugar kept her litter of kittens, to check that she had not smothered any of them. She was deaf, and I was afraid she would roll over on one and not hear it's frantic cries. I understood fully the futile wailing of the young and invisible, the helpless. I could not remove myself from my own suffocation, but I could save those kittens, and I was determined to do so. Passion proves to be a powerful life force, moving mountains when I was sure I was too spiritually exhausted to move a foot, rekindling over and over in my marriage, like a restless bedmate. My passions have rarely formed in grace. My only moments of sustained grace have been while dancing, and strangely, while parenting my children. The absolute determination to do whatever is necessary for my children has led to periods of grace, and dancing has always left me moving through air as though my limbs were attached to the notes of music they moved to.
Grace is forced on me. I am at least aware enough to embrace it when it arrives. Ever, her fully formed foot jammed up into my right rib cage, reminds me hourly to slow down, to observe, to be aware, to be grateful. Gratitude is a high form of grace. I am so lucky, so very lucky to have this little girl growing inside me, only a short six weeks from announcing herself in our family. The turn of her foot, the smack of her hands against my pubic bone, the bulge of her back against my belly button like a great humpacked whale- these things stop me, stop my ears and eyes from their frantic programming and bring me gently into the present moment. I am about to have a baby, I remember, and then even more astonishing- there is our baby inside of me right now.... the joy of her infant self rolling in my abdomen grounds me. Joy grounding? Yes. It grounds me, it removes fear and projection and musing and immerses me entirely in the flesh and blood and heart of now.
The last few months I have been flooded with unstable situations and emotions, times which have called for quick feet, strong character, instinct, determination drive and commitment, but grace has fallen short. The quicker my feet and mind move, the clumsier my communication, my body, my expression. Remember when I told you my mother had admonished me to ' look more hopeful '? Well. Her graceless child may have an unpleasant expression but she never, ever left her family wondering where her heart and her every effort lay. I may break plates and wrinkle my freckled face, I certainly say the wrong thing and yes, fling myself across my bed crying like a maudlin teen, but I think a hidden beauty of love is that sometimes, inside it's most graceless gestures, like Matryoshka dolls, is the most graceful heart.