Sunday, February 28, 2010

she was clearly under severe stress

Varying Possibilities of choice for Handling Stress With Varying Degrees of Success

1 Random, Tourette like outbursts of inappropriate words, jokes or stories.
IE: ' Pussy! Pussssyyyy pussypussypussypussypussy! '
' Well. Surely Maggie was referring to her ailing cat at home. Regarding your taxes... '

2 Dancing

3 Woody Allen movies
See Deconstructing Harry, Hannah and Her Sisters, Manhattan

4 Screaming orgasm
Comment: rough with children at home

5 Slapping face repeatedly with own hand
See American Beauty
Comment: painful, and difficult to explain later

6 Self indulgent morose or moody music listening
See Morrissey, The Cure, Enya, Joy Division, the entire Bruce Springsteen CD ' Nebraska '
Comment: painful but can be comforting and cathartic

7 Consumption of large amounts of chocolate and caffeine
Side Effects: embarrassing sweating, flushing, hot flashes, uncontrollable weeping and weight gain

8 Pot smoking, morbid fantasizing about own death and if funeral goers will wear half shirts
See Reality Bites

9 Gathering every person you love as near as you can, holding on as tightly as you can for long as you can and telling them you love them
Comment: Highly recommended
Side Effects: Possible severe discomfort if the UPS man had no idea how you felt.


Friday, February 26, 2010

Chelsea Missing

There is a young girl missing. She goes to the same high school as my son. 17, beautiful, smart, and by personal account of someone who knows her well- a woman I know who works at Starbucks and whose daughter is a good friend of hers- funny as hell and just as sweet. She plays French horn. A cross country runner, she parked her car near canyon trails by my home and took off: 2pm. No one has seen her since. Her cell phone was left in her car.

Once you have children, you are exposed tendon and bone to the air. You realize, as if you were birthed along with them in that blood and pain and tears of joy, that if something horrible happened to them, something horrible happened to you, and not simply in your emotions- i feel sad, i feel lost- but in your very concept of existence. Is life worth living when something so horrible happens that Earth is not Earth, but a place where you suffer the most unbearable of agonies: the inability to protect your child from great and unbearable pain. Perhaps I am not making sense. Perhaps I am lost in these words, somewhere back when I began and wrote ' something horrible happened to them... ' Perhaps as soon as the reality of this kind of suffering brushes my shoulders, I am borne back into the greatest suffering I have so far known, my childhood suffering, and then I realize that like childbirth, that was not the worst pain, not close: no, the pain of this young woman's parents is going to grow to a point so unbearable that they will wish to die.

Whatever we are made of- body, soul, mind- none of these three escape this agony and transformation; transmutation. I can feel myself changing simply by imagining it. As a mother, you imagine disaster. As a person who has experienced real suffering as part of my coming of age, I imagine it even more so- so aware as I am of it's reality and possibility. And then as a novelist, I imagine it in a way that turns my stomach, ruins the bowels, and left me tonight in Target crying while holding Lola's hand and moving past the sign that holds this girl's bright, shining face and open eyes, blue and wide, a smile and eyes made for open American fields and the endless possibilities of youth and good health and intelligence and a heart that has been good and loved and full. I can look at her face and see this. I can look at the slender turn of her left ear, exposed by the soft tucking in of blonde hair behind her ear, a gesture I know her mother will think of and crave the way you crave water, or food, or air.

They have not found a thing.

Please pray for her. Here.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

strange and wonderful minutae of life in scenes from a bathroom

a pig on a skatboard. Lola spells it skatboard, and so shall i. i can offer no explanation of this pig and skatboard, only silent wonder and appreciation.

a sign purchased on family vacation to visit Auntie Elizabeth in Nashville, Tennesse
and a stack of books and magazines

our toothbrushes get lonely. so Lola made them a plane to fly and visit their relatives, the hairbrushes

' brush brush brush ' says the giraffe ( i painted this bathroom all by myself. and it shows!)

2$ at the local thrift store, couldn't love it anymore (i'm a poet and i know it)

from the downtown San Diego store Magical Child, a bucket for many objects

lovely for skin smells so good does not kill us slowly

unhappiness is forehead picking. happiness is painting your nails red anyway.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

People In Your Neighborhood: Maissa Toulet

Les Vegeteux

Piege a Rengeurs
Festin de Rengeurs


Monday, February 22, 2010

thinly veiled as the major character of the wife

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.— ROBERT B. PARKER and his wife, Joan, have been together for almost half a century, have raised two children, and since 1987 have worked together turning his famous detective novels into TV movies. He dedicates his books to her, and she appears in them, thinly veiled, as a major character named Susan.
But real life has thrown them some curves. In 1982, they separated and discussed divorce. Instead, they each underwent intensive psychotherapy and confronted a vexing truth. Despite incompatible lifestyles -- she is tirelessly social, he's a loner -- they couldn't or wouldn't sever their bonds.
''In 1984, we reunited in a loving, monogamous relationship,'' said Mr. Parker, 69. With the slight smile that is a cue for some classic Parker-fiction banter, he glanced at Ms. Parker and said, ''Her yearning for me was palpable.''
Mr. Parker, creator of the tough but erudite private investigator Spenser, got a response befitting Susan, Spenser's feisty girlfriend.
''That is humor based on fantasy,'' she said.
Those of you who dubiously pondered my adoration of Robert B. Parker must surely see, through this small snippet, why I would love his work.
I never thought of myself as anything, but a writer. The normal labels people take on from birth- as we begin someone's daughter or son- were subverted in my family by the incredibly vast and debilitating space between each family member. At times, my sister and I clung to each other. My mother and my sister had long periods of ease. There was never a period where I felt strongly ' I am part of a family ' : I am a daughter, a sister. I felt like me. What this meant to me was a conundrum of personality quirks that I did not understand and most commonly did not like or want, a constant need to write from age 5, a fierce love of nature and of facing the truth. At 19 I had Dakota and I was, life-savingly, someone's mother.
Now here I am, someone's wife. What this means to me, what I believe a wife acts like, looks like, thinks like, most importantly (to me) what a wife feels like, I am only beginning to observe. The first year of our marriage was like a long adrenaline rush. Lola was a baby and the boys were in school, I was home and Mr. Curry worked and came home and we ate, had scrambled hurried amazing sex almost nightly, watched Sex in the City, Sopranos or Six Feet Under, and then slept, Lola in between us. Being a wife meant nurse the baby. It meant have sex. It meant clean the kitchen. It meant ask how his day was. It meant when people looked at me and then looked at my finger they saw I was married. It seemed that simple.
One day Mr. Curry came home in a bad mood. A really, really, really bad mood. I felt a rising fury, a betrayal, that I would be exhausted, Lola cried and nursed all day, my nipples were sore, the boys had been fighting, the dog shit on the floor, the shower was not producing hot water, and all I wanted in the world was for Mr. Curry to produce hot water, and here he comes, home from work in this foul and rude mood.
A husband should always put his family before his feelings. A husband should clean what his wife could not, and he should do so that day, so the house looks less like a hurricane and more like a home. A husband should fix anything that is broken, and if he cannot, he should learn how quickly, and he should do so nicely, without complaining. Why should he do that? Because he is a husband.
So quickly we realize ourselves, when there is no hot water. It took me five minutes to have all those emotions, from the time Mr. Curry stepped in the door, scowled, went to the bathroom and began muttering and complaining about fixing the shower, attempted for 10 minutes to fix the shower before giving up and then getting even more angry when I asked him to go get the necessary parts now, and not tomorrow. I did not care that he never complained- ever- about the state of our house, not even in a jokey manner. I did not care that he constantly told me how sexy and beautiful I was, even with milk dripping down my chest and my hair in a knot and my skin greasy and last night's sweats still on. I did not care that even though the kids were late to school because I couldn't get them and Lola out the door on time, he didn't judge me. I cared about the damn hot water, and his grumpy attitude.
I did not know that I had a laundry list of requirements for a husband, or that this was only the beginning of wondering what a wife is, too, and truly and realizing in the middle of living it- when most things are realized- that I had no idea what I was doing. Life rolled on so very quickly and fiercely- including a major issue I don't address here on the blog and also the loss of Mr. Curry's business (which he worked very hard to obtain and build and for which I will be eternally proud of him) owed tax dollars, moving when our landlord raised the rent, losing Mr. Curry's expensive truck, Dakota's transition from private to public school (brutal), my chronic pain worsening and then three surgeries, the serious and prolonged illness and death of both my Grandparents who I was helping care for, my mother almost dying in the hospital due to organ failure- I could go on, but I'd be afraid you would swallow Vodka and arsenic and give up your religion. It was a road raising children and adapting to life, and the dynamics of a marriage don't have much time to be felt up, so to speak. This is what makes getting married with family already in tow hard(er).
0Over the last year I have been thinking seriously about my role in my own life. I am a wife. I am a mother. I had Dakota so young, and took the role of mother so deeply, so to the core, that I literally swung immediately from being a self absorbed fucked up teenager to a sober and hard working, school attending, nursing and bringing baby to work momma. Dakota was 7 when I became pregnant with Lola, and I was on the cusp of a more- much more- self-created life, kicking ass in school and beginning to travel to LA on weekends to audition for things like the N'Sync video I danced in. Marriage, baby, life. I absolutely am not blaming anyone and I absolutely do not feel this was a bad thing. If I hadn't had Dakota I do not honestly know what would have happened to me. I was so deeply, bone breakingly lonely and sad. Dakota breathed love into my heart, it's that true. I am stating the facts, because they matter, and they matter as to why, at 35 and working feverishly on my novel, I spend a great amount of time feeling terrifically guilty for working feverishly on my novel, and for the time I spend here- even though, I have become very disciplined with my time here, and only moon over the screen for endless hours when it is the weekend and the kids are busy or playing. They matter as to why at 35 and in a deeply loving but very strained marriage, I am increasingly unsure of how I am supposed to contribute to this marriage, or to what degree, or what boxes are marked X and which are left empty, and where who I am is allowed to be staked in the ground next to who Mr. Curry is, instead of the one-ness that marriage is.
What I'd really like is if a room full of people in very similar circumstances to us lined up, and I could compare myself to them. That's how my mind works. I want to know, where do I stand next to XYO. How well am I doing here? Am I a good person, or just the thinly veiled character of one on my blog?
I am not thinking of anything revolutionary, or new, just the same thing most of you wives and mothers each or both have thought about yourself over the years. I am asking myself a lot of questions at night, when I watch movies, or read. I want to know what being a wife means to me. I want to know how my internalized, unspoken definition of being a Wife or Husband is shaping my marriage. I want to know how my idea about a wife stacks up to 'most people'. I want to know, like I do when I get interested in something, every fucking thing there ever was to know about being married.
And then the teacher will like me best, and I'll get an A, and no homework.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

i've got a crush on this actor : Benjamin McKenzie

I saw his acting first on The OC- he played the 'serious, intelligent, soulful and troubled' new guy, and did so with uncommon intensity and smarts. He was off my radar until Southland- a high quality completely entertaining cop show coming back this season. His acting chops are first rate, and I'd love to see him jump to movies.

Here's another reason to Crush, via Wikipedia:

McKenzie was born Benjamin McKenzie Schenkkan, in Austin, Texas to Mary Frances Victory, a prize-winning poet, and Pieter Meade Schenkkan. His uncle is the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan.

Watched: French movie, Ricky

I have a love of French movies and spend money every month on a few. This is what Lola, Mr. Curry and I watched last night... hard to say if I recommend. I am glad I watched it, I can say that.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Friday, February 19, 2010

a corruption of influences

*gone to mrs. basil's files

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Marvelous Kiddo Features My Birth Story

the girl herself in 2009

I'm so excited to have Lola Moon's birthing story featured on Leigh's awesome blog, Marvelous Kiddo. I've been a follower for a while, having in common both Mississippi roots and a natural, gentle approach to birthing and raising our marvelous kiddos. Check. It. Out :)

Borders Bookstore, I Love You, Even Though You Make Me Hyperventilate

I have panic attacks at Borders. Since Dakota was born, I have been taking him to this Borders, located in San Diego CA on a certain corner of a certain shopping center, next to Petco, where for years I spent hours every week perusing fish and reptiles with Dakota. Dakota's first 'group' was at Borders, the story time for toddlers where at 21 years old I sat, worried that my son wouldn't 'behave' and the other mothers would look at me with scorn and think ' Young and stupid, no idea what she's doing. ' But he behaved. And we loved it. Every week, sometimes more than once, we would go to Borders, stopping first at the coffee counter for Mommy's coffee with cream and Splenda, picking up a few magazines and books for Mommy and then heading back to the Children's Section. Magical Children's Section, where I prided ( and pride ) myself on being a Mother who makes her children pick up after themselves, and not leave piles of stuffed animals and books across the floor for an employee to sort through, shelve. ( Those Children Section employees must be some of the most disillusioned and frustrated employees, ever, by the warning glances they give out, before we've even sat down. )

I would read my magazines and books, drink my coffee, and then it was Dakota's turn. I sat and read Captain Underpants, Pokemon, Transformers, Dragons and Wizards, Pirates, children's poetry, The Ant Bully, The Jolly Pocket Postman, Courderoy and every other book Dakota desired to hear.

After Lola was born, I would drop Dakota off at school and head over to Borders with Lola firmly tucked into the Baby Bjorn. Weekends, Dakota Ian and Lola would come with Mr. Curry and I and drink and read, read read. The boys went through a huge animae stage and comic style books took over, until it evened out again and Ian's interests turned toward science fiction and biography, and Dakota's toward how-to instruction and older comic.

At some point, I leave the kids with Mr. Curry and head toward the novel section. And it begins.

I look at the high filed bookcases stacked neatly with straight-backed novels, hardcover and soft, bright and shining, clean and newly printed. Rows and rows of novels spread out before me, names I adore but have not read every work like Joyce Carol Oates, John Irving, Duras, zadie Smith, Philip Roth, Tim O'Brien and authors I have read about but not read the work, like John Cheever (so excited to begin his works!) Camus, Proust. Then the biographies- I adore biographies- some of my favorite books like zelda and Savage Beauty and Unquiet Mind next to curiosities like Them and The Mitford Sisters. Then there are the lighter reads I could consume in a few hours, books that are good reads but lighter fare, like The Big House, Monsters of Templeton, Disquiet. So. Many. Books.

I begin to pull out books. I've always wanted to read John Adams, recommended by my mom, but am I in the mood? Add it to the stack. Oh there is the old John Irving I've never read, maybe I'm in the mood? Add it. Here is a Hemingway I never read, and I want to read all his work, should read this, add it. What about Barbara Kingsolver? I liked her book in Africa..what was the name..I'll add one of hers... Here's an old work of poet Sharon Olds, I know I'd love it, add it.

Soon I have ten books cradled in my arms against my breasts, up to my chin. I sit down. A small sweat prickles my brow. I promised Mr. Curry I would only spend 20$. I cannot buy more than two small books or one large for that amount. I look at my ten novels. I know I need to stop adding books. But they tower around me so beautifully!!! Look at the covers. I open a book and smell the thick paper. It smells so wonderful, I wonder why they don't make an air freshener called New Novel. The black stamped fonts stand out so crisp and fresh. The hardback covers are so satisfyingly tangible, so gorgeous in the thick weighted colors. The soft covers are beautifully illustrated. I love used books stores, but for very different reasons, and cannot get from them what I get from a store like Borders, with it's sweeping towering bookshelves full of brand new books.

I take the top book from the pile, open and speed read the first chapter. I do this for each book.
I am a true speed reader, and this takes only a short time. As I hold the last book in my hand, which I have sped read the last chapter as well ( a terrible habit ) I look up to see my entire family standing together. The three children hold books and push each other, make jokes. Mr. Curry is raising his eyebrows. ' Are you ready? ' he asks. ' Already? ' I reply. ' It's been an hour and half, Maggie! '


My heart is racing. I look at my stacks of books and pull the one book I think I have decided to buy. But they also have a limited edition hard backed Pride and Prejudice which is so pretty! But no. I own two PandP already. Take the one I will read. I feel a bit like crying. Mr. Curry moves away and gestures at me encouragingly. ' C'mon...let's go...' he says nicely. He knows how I am. I hold the book closely. I look upward at all the books I cannot take, the illustrated guides to birds that I love, the home decor bohemian style, the book on Women's Health I hadn't even opened yet, the novels and classics I must read! I want to take at least three more!

I move toward the cash register and look down at the book in my hands. I must focus on this one novel.

Read it like it's burning!


Read it like you have all the time in the world!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

People In Your Neighborhood: Amy Ross

I like everything about Amy Ross' art- the use of lines, the color palette- sometimes almost painfully light and elusive, other-times definitive and assured- the names of her pieces which use words that I love and which come together so satisfyingly falcon, shroom, titmouse ( in the same wonderful way that Beatrix Potter's works evoked magic ) and the unabashed fascination with detail detail detail! Alongside a true vision and obsession ( read her statement below ) which gives her work continuity and intellect alongside it's obvious magic. I would love to own any and all pieces! Her work is exactly what I would want to be doing if I were talented in this way. * Go here to see more...

Artist's Statement

" I am interested in the idea of artist as mad scientist. My drawings offer visual hypotheses to the question: what would happen if the DNA sequence of a plant or mushroom were spliced with that of an animal? Using graphite, watercolor, and walnut ink on paper as well as directly on gallery walls in site-specific installations, I portray animals morphed with branches, mushrooms, berries, and blossoms, thus forming implausible hybrid creatures. These images subvert the traditional genre of botanical illustration by approaching the close study of the natural world through the lens of genetic engineering and mutation gone awry. "

Woodpeckershrooms With Falcons


Snake Charmers

Rabbit Magnolia

Goat Magnolia

Brother Wolf 4

Kuwati Den

Brother Wolf

Brother Wolf ( he is my favorite Wolf, for his expression, so fascinatingly human )

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sylvia Plath

Fever 103

Pure? What does it mean?
The tongues of hell
Are dull, dull as the triple

Tongues of dull, fat Cerebus
Who wheezes at the gate. Incapable
Of licking clean

The aguey tendon, the sin, the sin.
The tinder cries.
The indelible smell

Of a snuffed candle!
Love, love, the low smokes roll
From me like Isadora's scarves, I'm in a fright

One scarf will catch and anchor in the wheel.
Such yellow sullen smokes
Make their own element. They will not rise,

But trundle round the globe
Choking the aged and the meek,
The weak

Hothouse baby in its crib,
The ghastly orchid
Hanging its hanging garden in the air,

Devilish leopard!
Radiation turned it white
And killed it in an hour.

Greasing the bodies of adulterers
Like Hiroshima ash and eating in.
The sin. The sin.

Darling, all night
I have been flickering, off, on, off, on.
The sheets grow heavy as a lecher's kiss.

Three days. Three nights.
Lemon water, chicken
Water, water make me retch.

I am too pure for you or anyone.
Your body
Hurts me as the world hurts God. I am a lantern ---

My head a moon
Of Japanese paper, my gold beaten skin
Infinitely delicate and infinitely expensive.

Does not my heat astound you. And my light.
All by myself I am a huge camellia
Glowing and coming and going, flush on flush.

I think I am going up,
I think I may rise ---
The beads of hot metal fly, and I, love, I

Am a pure acetylene
Attended by roses,

By kisses, by cherubim,
By whatever these pink things mean.
Not you, nor him.

Not him, nor him
(My selves dissolving, old whore petticoats) ---
To Paradise.

-Sylvia Plath

here for Radish King's wonderful memorial to Sylvia,
my favorite poet.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dakota Wolf and The Brief Season

" Teenage boys, goaded by their surging hormones run in packs like the primal horde. They have only a brief season of exhilarating liberty between control by their mothers and control by their wives " - Camille Pagila

Dakota Wolf, 2010

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Eventual Birthing and Life of Lola Moon

By the time Lola was born, she had been stuck in my vagina for a good half hour. The beginning of someone's life is a strange and mysterious place, and I cannot imagine what the fresh consciousness of an infant took in while lodged firmly in between my legs, like a Pilates ball in place for the ultimate Kegel.

On February 7th, 2002, I had taken castor oil to induce contractions. I was pacing the room in the Best Start Birth Center in downtown San Diego, trying to joggle my uterus into beginning it's fierce clenching. The castor oil wasn't working, so I sat with the midwife on the King sized bed in my birthing room- the blue room, my favorite color- and attached an electric owch breast pump to each of my gigantic swollen breasts. For a half hour we waited.

It began. The contractions grabbed me like giant but gentle man hands around my torso, from the tops of my rib cage to the deepest muscles and tendons in my pelvis. I walked casually around the room, and when a contraction would begin, would simply breathe and smile through it. The midwife bustled sweetly around, taking notes, preparing things. Dakota stared at me as though his mother was, before his eyes, in the process of turning into another creature entirely. And I was. A laboring woman is part woman, part mother and part beast. The veil is lifted and our bodies begin to remind us what a force of nature really is.

The room I walked in was simply a large master bedroom, refashioned in this old, charming Victorian home into the Blue Birthing Room. The bedroom was attached to a bathroom with a large tub, where I hoped to birth my baby. I loved the simplicity and respect that the midwives gave me throughout the pregnancy, I loved the hippie families in their dreads and beads in the waiting room, I loved the names of babies born crowning the overhang, I loved the calm assurance held that your body was meant to bear babies, and that given calm space and support and patience, it would do so quite wonderfully. There was no large white gowns, no beeping machines circling me, no frowning nurses, no long hallways, just the day outside, passing by, with life inside, passing through.

As the contractions began in earnest, I redoubled my focus. The angelic face turned to an intense, angry scowl. I tend to look angry when I am concentrating, a fact that used to disconcert my college professors. I bent over the bed and breathed. I crossed my legs on the floor and breathed. I shed my clothes one piece at a time over an hour, until I was buck naked, pacing the room with my heavy breasts swaying and the hot balloon of my stomach contracting. I felt like a magnificant and mythical creature- the Birthing Mother. My long, blonde hair down my back, sweaty and in fine knots, sweat beading my brow, my ears, my clavicle, the divit in between my breasts, prickling down my unshaven legs. My strong legs stomping not unlike a mare, my thin but stable arms squeezing with each contraction. I coached myself ' Do not be afraid of the pain, do not be afraid. ' I looked at the round clock above the door. I marked time, and reminded myself that somewhere, at that exact moment, another woman was laboring. If she could do it, I could do it.

I can't do this!!! I was gasping and yelling a few hours later, on all fours on the bed, rocking, furious at the pain. I can't do this, I yelled at the midwife. She talked. I don't know what she said. I redoubled my efforts. I need drugs damnit!!!! Bring me an ambulance!!! The midwife looked a bit nervously around. She bit her lips. She talked soothingly, about how long the ambulance would take, about how far along I was, reminding me I wanted a drug free-- NO I DON"T WANT A DRUG FREE LABOR I CHANGED MY GODDAMN MIND

But it was too late. I crawled to the bathroom and perched in the dark, on the floor, clinging to the side of the tub. The door was half open. The tub was full. I growled softly. I did not want anyone in there. This was between me and my body.

And finally, I found a rhythm. The pain would come over me. It is exactly like being dragged deep underwater by the most powerful current you can imagine. Imagine. Imagine being dragged deep underwater by the most powerful current you have ever felt, and try not to kick. Try not to flail. Try not to resist. Try to ignore every instinct your battered body is screaming at you with heart beating a million miles and muscles full of adrenaline your body is demanding that you escape! Swim! The contraction is the wave. You are the swimmer. Your muscles swell from your throat to your crotch, in a long hard clenching that begins to hurt more than you can imagine it could possibly hurt and then with shock you realize that it is going to hurt even more. It is not going to stop swelling, it is going deeper and harder and you are literally being thrown around like a feather in the wind. While in labor I literally felt my body being lifted as if a giant wind was pushing me. Not metaphorically, this is important- but literally, lifted. And set down hard. Imagine being dragged deep underwater by the most powerful current you have ever felt, and the current flows in your mouth and your eyes and your vagina and asshole and pushes your internal organs aside and pushes pushes pushes you and squeezes you until you cannot breathe and you feel that your tailbone is breaking and your ribs are cracking and sharp pains fly through your torso like sparks from a fire and your vagina is on fire and you are being ripped open like a gigantic zipper being pulled the wrong way and blood and fluid are pouring out of you and some howl is coming from your mouth that is a grunting howl and you are afraid you are going to die. The problem is you hear this and you think metaphorically, she means, 'ripped open' and metaphorically, she means ' tailbone breaking' and I want you to know that this is not a metaphor. These things do not kind of feel this way. They feel exactly like this, and trying to make someone believe it is like trying to make an adult believe again in Santa Claus. Your body does things in labor, especially in transition and pushing, that you cannot believe are humanly possible without death being imminent. I was being dragged deep underwater by the giant wave and I could not get my bearings- where is the floor? Where is the ceiling? Where is my pussy? Where is my stomach? and this is why I needed to be alone in the dark grunting on the bathroom floor, like a drunk, spinning, spinning. But I did it. I conquered my own self, and I still am in awe that I did it. I found a rhythm. I faced the pain and I swam into it. If that is not courage, I don't know what is. I faced the pain, and I swam into it, and I let it take me under and smash my head and body against the rocks at the bottom and this is how the pushing began, because you let yourself be cracked open, and then there is a way for the baby to come out. I let the tide overtake me and I had a more spiritual experience than I ever did in my life, swimming into the great unknown and beyond of our mind and our souls, swimming into that pain, and I felt as if I were being flung into the night sky, up against the stars and planets, or was it the ocean's depth? Both.

and I said, I am ready for the tub.

They put me in the tub and the grunt work began. I grunted and growled fiercely, but the feeling of total chaos was past. The pain was enormous but I was in my body again, I was through transition, and the great fear had passed. I could do it. I could do it. I looked with love at the faces flickering in candlelight, watching me with expectation. I grunted and breathed like a dragon and howled as I pushed. I heard encouraging words. Then I lay back and let the midwife look. Her head! I can see her head! She felt the baby's head. Feel it, she encouraged. I drew back. No, no. I could not. I did not want to put my hand where the baby was, I did not want to feel afraid again. I had to focus on my work. Get the baby out. Push. Push. But the Ring of Fire began, and it hurt so badly, I knew I would rip. I sobbed to the midwife, I'm going to rip! No, no, she soothed, you aren't. I knew I would. My contractions stopped. Completely. I was in the eye of the storm. My body decided to stop. With an 8 pound baby wedged in my vagina.

Everyone waited. And waited, and encouraged me to push, and I tried, but I was too afraid. My body made no waves. The tub did not lap, the faucet could be heard dripping. The candles moved. Nothing. More waiting. Finally, the midwife told me sternly, We will have to transfer you to the hospital if you can't push, Maggie. You have to get her out. I looked at my stomach. I wanted to meet this baby. This, I thought to myself, is for you.

And I pushed. And I tore. And the baby swam out into the water, and I saw her little scrunched face and body under the water like the most natural fishy baby in the world, and the midwife lifted her dripping wet to my chest and I wept and held her and kissed her face over and over weeping, and the blood clouded the water.

Lola Moon was born in the deep hours of the night. I was stitched up as Lola nursed her first nurtsie, and then bundled into bed, falling into a deep and beautiful sleep.

Happy Birthday Lola Moon. You are Eight, and I am blessed beyond words.

I love you for infinity, and beyond.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

i've got a crush on this pair

every book is fantastic

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Watermark

In AA you are taught that the word fine really means Fucked Up, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional. What? I'm just saying. Many words in the English language are dubious. What Webster's says they mean and what they really mean are two different things.

If your daughter hears you squeal 'Bruuuuce' when a Springteen song comes on and says ' Keep your pants on mom, ' it may sound like she hears questionable humor from her father, when in reality, the top silver shiny button on your skinny jeans has just popped open, after you have eaten your 15th Thin Mint cookie of the day, because your daughter is in the Girl Scouts, which really and truly is an organization about the fattening of suburban mothers, and has nothing to do with little girls doing good and ironing on patches.

Maybe that was a bad example.

Take the word marriage. Mine is in a hard part, a hurting phase. My marriage has distinct and unique challenges to it, outside the normal box of broke, young kids, full time work, bad habits and all that - challenges. Hm. Maybe, take the word, challenges. I challenge you to a duel. I challenge you to prove your love. I challenge you to eat three tacos in under one minute. I challenge you to do your Saturday chores before the Rapture. I challenge you to face and conquer your darkest demons in order to save our marriage. Incorporating both those words in there, it all appears obvious. Either DO IT, or don't. Either make a decision, or DON'T. Either, Or. But life is lived 99 percent of the time in between Either and Or ( both lands frequented by old grannies with wooden spoons and a sour, i been suckin on my dentures and they taste like Grandpa's balls kind of expression ) in the land of Part. As in, part of me is brave, and the other part a coward. Part of this marriage is fantastic and part is making me doubt my ability to ever grow up in the sense of 'turn in your taxes on time spend money wisely and remain emotionally stable'. Part of our sex life involves donkeys, and part of it doesn't. Part of this paragraph is true to life and part is full of beans.

When we marry, we each have ideas of what that word means. When we accept that we will face challenges in life, we each have ideas- often which are completely wrong- about what those challenges might be, and how we expect our Marriage to handle those challenges. Marrying means accepting the impossible dream comes attached to real people. For me, marrying meant a dream attached to the very real beautiful butts of three very loved children, our Dakota, our Ian, our Lola. I thank the Universe every day for these children, even under the most trying and brutal challenges. Ah. That word again. The grace of a unbearable childhood is that, if you are lucky enough to find your way out of it, you understand much younger and much deeper that few things really matter, and the ones that do are worth living for, not just worth dying for, but living for. Really living. Like, my ass and heart are exposed to the wind and the whole world can see me but I am here, and I am giving it all I have, I am working hard for the money, I am putting in full time hours and sweating and sore muscles and studying all night all semester and next year too, and no one, whatever else they can and will say, can or will ever say that I do any less than that.

I know that Mr. Curry and I both believe closely, so closely the same what the word marriage means, beyond the dictionary definition, toward the watermark, the meaning we see rising through our days and lives, the silent agreement made between two people when they unite, unsaid and barely conscious, about what life will be, married. The river that runs through it, as they say.

What do they say, again?

*illustration, Daren Newman
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