Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Why Deadlines Work (in a spiritual way: allowance)

Count them: 2 days left of maternity leave.
Besides the monstrous presence of postpartum depression,
I'm going to miss this spaciousness, this extended time.
And if I'm being honest, I'll admit I haven't always extended my body, mind, heart or time in this space in the ways I'd hoped. So today, with the deadline approaching, there's some kind of allowance in the air.

To look, for a long long time, out the window, catching individual snowflakes on their downward journey to the splayed out, effervescent white. To eat, cookies made by Karen, cookies with high calorie content and lots of Christmas colored sugar sprinkles. Fuck you Weight Watchers; Jennifer Hudson looked better big anyway. To drink this second cup of coffee, unapologetically, because it doesn't matter if my caffeine high is too high when there's no liturgy to write or person to pastorally care for. To stay, lingering, lightly covered in magnetic desire for my spouse, in the bed for much longer than either of us anticipated when we first layed back down. To read, from a chapter of this book, then a quote from that blogger, then a yearning in my son's face which beckons a physical response that none of those literary texts can claim with any certainty. To write, not one, but two poems, in the generous moments between tasks of great and no importance (finance logging, laundry switching, bottle washing). To touch, his balding head, with two fingers, a sign of peace, pushing back what's left behind his ear with a tenderness I've never had toward any of his kind. To feel this bliss. To receive and accept this bliss. To bless this bliss. To know it's all gone soon enough. To love, even with a dash of suspicion, this life, consciously and clearly, on the horizon of yet another change, but in this moment also all-so-quiet. A quiet, a quiet that is foreign, a quite/quiet kind of foreign language, so foreign in fact that I can only pick out a single word from the entire sentence: gift.

6 weeks old & kinda clouded

before 9 a.m.--
snow shoveled
infant mouth fed
nanny coffee-d 
spouse carressed 
laundry gathered
2 articles read and reposted

and then between 9 and 9:30 a.m..--
two sessions of sitting on the floor in the nursery
interrupted only by a breastfeeding session 
folding newborn clothes and putting them "away" 
into a newly purchased tupper wear bin 

he hit six weeks yesterday 
and already the striped dog outfit 
(his first ever worn article of clothing due to popular vote)
and the monkey butt outfit
and the gender neutral plethora of duck outfits 
all reading NB, 
all so small it about cracks your soul in two
all no longer fit

no longer fit 

this parenting thing is about stretching beyond your widest capacity one second
only to have that capacity no longer fit the next 

so stretch again, my friend 

this mothering thing is about the interactivity and intertwinedness of love and loss 
so completely inseperable that it's practically unbearable

wondrous and terrible 

the only reason you get through it 
is because you're so busy 
adding, multiplying and dividing (time, energy, self)
that all the subtracting flies by kinda clouded

but this morning i come to be attentive
awake and present 
to the loss
to the truth of his littleness disappearing
slowly, inch by inch, as he accumulates more life
as i, month by month, accumulate more tupper wear   

i come to be attentive
to document this moment 
through poetry 
so that i don't wake up 20 years from now
walk into my basement full of "storage"
like its some curated museum of my life gone by
and lose my shit on the floor 

i come to grieve and celebrate
this wondrous and terrible stretching 
the way things no longer fit 
to bear witness to this unbearable blend
of love and loss