Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Dude Abides

twilight by nick higgins

There is a pause that began when Ever went into the hospital with RSV and has not let out it's breath. I had a baby. I had a sick baby. She wasn't all right. She's all right now. For now. As long as I keep a close eye on her breathing and make sure she's not moving toward not all right. She rubs her open fingered hand across the front of her brow and the side of her ear until she covers her eye with five fingers and in that tiny fat hand my heart is and she has smashed it all over her face and there it remains. There is a tethered balloon of my head smiling and I carry it around with me and people talk to me and I want to pull the balloon in front of my face and say talk to the balloon but that would be weird. My hormones are bad because I have wacky female hormones, worse than your typical girl, hence the endometriosis, and after I have a baby I get sad and silent. A great vacuum comes along and sucks all of my brains out and it's mouth is shaped like a breast feeding baby. I think very little. Yolanda encouraged me think Maggie think because she is a passionate artist intellectual poet goddess and sometimes, so am I, but after a baby I am something else. I am porous. This is part of the seasons. I have seasonal osmosis. I am not responding because I have not been given the proper weather conditions. I am buried but the soil is very rich.

Mothers, good mothers, create richness for their children to experience. Richness can be created in many ways but the important factor is that it exists. Not it's face or it's accent or if it has two dollars or two hundred thousand. After I have a baby I am creating richness. I am tilling. I am absorbing. I am abiding in a body. I am working out and walking and - I am resting so that when the moment comes along when the sun opens at a certain shining angle and hits the top of my head so that a circular portion of my scalp begins to rise with astounding heat I can respond in the way intended by springing open with the rest of Nature and beginning the months of creativity.

Meanwhile I am reading. And bringing flowers to M across the street whose father died; she is my favorite neighbor and I've been bringing her daughter R home from school with Lola and I watch their house quiet down for mourning. And praying for many people because illness and death seem around every corner lately. Katie Mcrae is very ill with her cancer and her parents covet prayers so please pray for her small shining self. Lola's friend's dad just died of pneumonia and so we pray for their family and I am thinking I want to bring them a meal but we have no working oven so I have to think what to bring. Dakota's new girlfriend's mom has terminal breast cancer and I keep feeling like I should.... something- but what? What is appropriate for your son's new girlfriend's ill mother you've never met? Maybe nothing but prayer. Kate, Henry's mom, is working in a veritable frenzy for justice for her son and I hope you all continue to leave comments on her blog because it's such a small thing we can do that might really help her. As Robert Stolorow said here in what is now one of my favorite quotes:

I have long contended that the mangling and the darkness can be enduringly borne, not in solitude, but in relationships of deep emotional understanding. In such relationships, we do not encourage the traumatized person to "get over it and move on." Instead, we dwell with him or her in his or her endlessly recurring emotional pain, so that he or she is not left unbearably alone in it.
Because this is one of the exact principles that saved my marriage when Mr. Curry got sick with Bipolar, and because Mr. Curry abides with me in the darkness when it comes, we have found in each other a great sanctuary. Of course no one can stay all the hours and feel all the feelings. But a lover or a friend who will go there with you and hold space with you, even if it's uncomfortable, painful, scary? Irreplaceable.
Thank you for the title of this post.
clearness said...

Love you guys. Lots of prayers....for you, Ever, Mr Curry and the whole family and the family's who live nearby and your friends families......Prayers.

Elisabeth said...

I too love the Stolorow comment Maggie, as in all of this post, wonderful writing, about living with life's sorrows and joys. Can you please tell me where the Stolorow quote is from, reference and page number, if you know. Thanks.

Maggie May said...

e- the quote is linked in my blog post on the word 'here' in the sentence before the quote

Julia said...

I always give comfort food, because there's something wonderful about suddenly not having to cook dinner (especially when you're stressed). And I find that if you do it for people who aren't your close friends they're often unduly touched, because you didn't HAVE to, and you did, anyway. It's easy enough to make an extra batch of whatever you're having and send it along with a note saying, "I made too much of this, and thought it might save you the hassle of cooking one night this week."

Hope that *you* are feeling better soon, and wishing I could pop over with a hot meal...

Ellen said...

The quote amazing...and why is that it can feel like too much of sadness seems to follow in multiples? How can there be this when there is joy in the world? Your sharing your thoughts is one way to unburden yourself and open up that otherwise would fester.

You do the best you can for others...sometimes just a simple card, a hug is all that one needs to do. Sometimes just knowing that someone cares means more than you will ever realize.

Maggie May said...

great advice Julia. i'll do it.

Elizabeth said...

You are taking care of the world, Maggie May, with your words and your love and your deep concern for others' welfare. I'd urge you to give it to yourself as well, wrap arms around your beautiful self, give yourself some slack, a break, marvel over YOU.

If you don't, I will.

Ms. Moon said...

As always- perfect.

Melinda Owens said...

Absolutely love the title...I adore Jeff Bridges and especially, The Big Lebowski. And the quote, beautiful and true. I remember the days when my babies were babies...funny, you do become a walking breast and everything revolves around her/his world. But you do emerge, and that's sweet, too. Here's to Spring. She's beautiful, by the way...Ever.

Phoenix said...

Beautiful quote, beautiful words. Thank you, Maggie May.

Drax said...

"Irreplaceable." That goes for you, too, MM.

Caroline of Salsa Pie said...

I really, really like Stolorow's quote. You have a great friend and husband in Mr. Curry and you deserve every single bit of that love and support from him.
I will pray for sunshine. Lots and lots of sunshine for everyone. :)

Annie said...

Hi Maggie,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. You are a special, caring person. I like that quote, too, and I'm glad you have that with Mr. Curry. Just being there, during an emotional process, and letting people know you care, is often the best and only thing you can do.

I like your own words: "I am buried but the soil is very rich." I'm glad you recognize that. You are fertile in so many ways, and your poetry comes through in posts like these.

Petit fleur said...

I'm so happy you and Mr C have figured it out.

My and mine are still working on it.

xoxo
pf

anymommy said...

Oh Maggie, will you come and read this in my Mother's Day LTYM show?

Life is irreplaceable.

Middle Child said...

As with one of my other blogmates - it is wonderful for someone my age to understand that so many young ones are taking time to reflect and to voice that reflection - The human race will be fine if we don't fool around making new rules because people do take the time to reflect on things that are deeply important -

Lo Lo said...

Maggie-
Just got back from a mini-vacation and I didn't realize until I logged on to your site how much I MISSED your writing while I was gone! I have to head to work now and I think I'm actually experiencing WITHDRAWAL! Girl, you get your butt in that chair and you write your novel! You are eloquent beyond words. I find myself clutching my chin with my fist and sighing YESSSSSS when I read your stuff.
With much appreciation and prayer for you and your family-
-LoLo

Angella Lister said...

Thank you for this beautiful thing.

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