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Archive for January, 2009

… …

Pause. snooze. wordless.

No, actually, I have things to say. Just not coherent.

So many thoughts, strings of words, running through my brain, but not enough determination to sit down and write them all out.

And honestly, a little bit afraid to communicate my thoughts, after she has been here. As if my membership in this club is revoked, because she is here. My words less valid, my feelings not substantial enough any longer.

I am on a short break from the computer, but truly I can tell you now, this membership never ever runs out. That void is never filled. That hole in the heart never closed up.

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she is

Lyra Phoenix

Lyra (LIE-rah) is of Greek origin, though it is Latin for Lyre, one of the most ancient musical instruments to be played.  It is also the name of a small but ancient star constellation, containing Vega, the 5th brightest star in the sky. The Lyra constellation is bordered by the dragon Draco, the Greek hero Hercules, the little fox Vulpecula, and Cygnus the Swan.
Phoenix is a mythical bird, found in both eastern and western mythologies. She dies but will rise again from her ashes to be reborn. A symbol of the sun, as well as rebirth, strength and immortality.

We are still trying to decide on her Chinese name!

:::

Thank you so much, everyone, for all the comments you left; they mean the world to me. This journey, would have been so different, without your companionship. I am grateful for all who have stuck us by, all these months, as we close our eyes in faith, and jumped. and forged ahead.

We are coping. Crazy messy, nuts, hours one melting into another, still surreal… her warm sleeping weight still heavy on my chest after I have laid her down to sleep, she still curled up in her safe and secure fetal pose. I am still in disbelief. Tears still verging. But, oh so grateful.

(I am still reading you all, just not having the time or capability to post a meaningful comment. I know some of you are approaching anniversaries, and I am walking with you, holding you in my thoughts.)

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Lover’s Gifts XLIV: Where Is Heaven

Where is heaven? you ask me, my child,-the sages tell us it is
beyond the limits of birth and death, unswayed by the rhythm of day
and night; it is not of the earth.
But your poet knows that its eternal hunger is for time and
space, and it strives evermore to be born in the fruitful dust.
Heaven is fulfilled in your sweet body, my child, in your
palpitating heart.
The sea is beating its drums in joy, the flowers are a-tiptoe
to kiss you. For heaven is born in you, in the arms of the mother-
dust.

~ Rabindranath Tagore

(First off, millions of apologies for taking so long to post! We had no internet access at the hospital, and had to stay 48 hours for monitoring. But we’re home now! I have so much to tell you’all, but for now… …)

I feel as if I am walking in a Dali timescape, with clocks melting, landsape shifting, the ground moving and unreal under my feet. But, she, this precious little bundle of warmth, all eight pounds and 20.5 inches of her, is real. She is real and here! My tears surge to type this… thank you for walking with me, breath abated, and all the support you have sent my way. I cannot tell you how much all these means to me.

It was a fast and intense four-hour labor; she made a gracious exit while I screeched and yelled like some possessed baboon-hyena… but she is here nevertheless, and we’re all in love… while feeling as if we are living in a dream.

Thank you, thank you, thank you you all again, far and near, waiting for news. Photos later, and for now, a letter I wrote hours before I headed to the hospital, all hysterical, and needing to unload all that tension… I titled it “Before I look into your eyes”–

My sweet, sweet little one,

I am weeping. Because I am wedged, between joy and grief and pain; between hope and not daring to hope; between anticipation and surrender, and boy, that is such a painful place to be in. But, I am wedged. It is painful, and tangling, what a mess, but I am staying in this place, because this is just where I am now.

Because, you, you, you, you have been anticipated for so long, I am suddenly surprised that tonight, no, probably tomorrow, at some point, I am going to be looking into your eyes. I am going to look into the depths of your eyes and meet your soul. And I will welcome you, once again, back to earth realm. I am finally, my heart, going to feel your warmth and your weight, and press you into my quivering bosom, and hold you there, and never, ever let go. And for that, I weep.

I weep for this opportunity that has presented itself, and that has held itself out for so long. For the door to not have bang shut on my fingers yet. For all the love and pain and beauty that I have experienced this past months. For all the feelings that I allow to wash over me, over and over, wearing down my wretched heart, smoothing over my raggedness, bubbling over my raw being.

I don’t know how to describe this to you. This thing called a mother’s heart. This thing that is a grieving mother’s heart reaching out towards the light, leaning into joy. You have no idea what it means to me to have you come. Although, perhaps you already know, you wise little soul; you are a traveler, just like your brother before you. And tonight, I think he is escorting you, from the realm of the mysterious stars, to us all here. All of us here, who have been waiting for you, little sweet. Do you know? Do you know that you are anticipated by so many people? We all can’t wait to meet you, to welcome you… it will be such a gorgeous, yet humbling moment.

I await. A-trembling, and trying to breathe ever so deeply.

love,

mama

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Dear sweet little soul,

your birth is pending. Pending, pending. It could be in some hours, in two days, in several days. Who knows? Perhaps only you, and the mysterious forces of the universe.

Your birth is pending, so is mine. We are going to birth.–

When your brother Ferdinand died, I died too. It was easy to die. There was no strength, no bravery in me to live. I let go and lay down, wishing never to walk out into the light again. But, death, or perhaps, Life, will not let me have it so easy. I gotta live again, because I still have things to do, apparently. I still have much to learn, and much to grow. But I was allowed to cocoon for a bit.

Now, it is about time for me to break from that safe cocoon, that has been warm, dark, and comforting. I have to birth again. And, golly, that is hard! What am I supposed to be now? How am I supposed to be? I dare not think, and I am not sure. I cower, dig in my heels, beg to lay back down again, but it is time to birth.

Your release from my womb will also be my birth. But, I need to let some things die. Birth, and Death, so intimately entwined, my dear little one. When Ferdinand died, he was birthed into another realm. Somehow he never really died, this is something I am still grasping. He feels so close, so intimate to me; I feel when I touch my skin, every single cell I touch is him too. I feel, when I rub my palms over the round form of my belly (your final days in my womb!), he is touching you too. And yet, he feels so distant sometimes. Sweet little one, there is nothing morbid when I say that as I carry you in me- sweet, fresh, tender little life, I carry Death too. You come in Life, and in Death too, if that makes sense at all. From the second we were born, we slowly begin to die.

Before I birth, to you, to myself, I know I need to kill some things first. I need to let some things die, and I need to surrender.

During my Blessingway, hosted by two women whom hopefully will be present to welcome you into this realm, Mani and Leigh, the myth of Queen Inana- Sumerian Queen of Heaven- was invoked. Alone, she had to pass through seven gates, and at each gate, she was to surrender one thing. Worldly possessions they may be, but representative of the psyche. I was asked too, to proceed to seven symbolic gates, my face painted in preparation to be a birth warrior, seven scarves hung and weighed upon my shoulders, and asked to surrender. What shall I surrender?

~ ego: This birth is not simply about me. It is also about the universe’s rhythm, flow and power. Actually, this birth is not about me. You are coming through me, as a gift, but I do not own you. This birth is not about my performance, but rather about how I let go and let flow and let be.

~ need for control: yes, no matter how much I realize about the illusion of control, I still yearn for it. I uncurl my fingers, and then, uncertain of myself, I reach out and grasp again. There is no need to control.

~ fears: I have thought about this a lot the past few days. I puzzled, how is it fear is still here? Don’t I have love, a lot of love? Does love not conquer all fears? … … But I also realize that fear has not been so menacing the past days, but a lingering presence. Perhaps fear is not to be feared. I studied it longer, and deeper, and realize that it is but an energy. Energy that cannot be destroyed, but certainly can be transformed. Fear has been there to energize me, keep me alert, get me wondering. In yoga meditation, fear is asked to be transformed into fearlessness. Fear has been hanging around, waiting for something to catalyse, to be transformed into courage.

I know I fear, because of the need to be in control, because of the necessity to show that I am capable. Ego, control, fear. Banish one and banish all.

~ time: I surrender all concepts of time. I wonder too, how long will this labor be? Long, like the others? It does not matter, really. 20 hours, 2 hours, what needs to transpire will do so. No clocks for me. Only the moment of your safe arrival matters.

~ past memories and experiences: oh, how they haunt me! When they are actually already a part of me, a part of my growth, even if it is painful growth. I let them go, for they do not inform this birth, your birth, our births, and unless to accentuate, they have no place in this sacred space that will be our births.

~ outcome: I surrender to the outcome, whatever it may be. I think, perhaps, that you have decided it is not time yet, because of this- my attachment to the outcome. I grovel, I dig in, I sulk. Because I want to know the outcome, before I even begin the journey. I want to have a guaranteed, positive outcome. I really do. I want someone, to somehow tell me, you will come, safely. But then, we may as well turn the planet inside out and trade places with Neptune. There is no guaranteed outcome, only committed action. I surrender, truly and totally. Whatever the outcome, no matter how you come, I will go through this beautiful process. My heart is exposed this way, in the most raw, vulnerable and quivering manner, but it seems there is no other way to walk this journey. There is no other way to mother, to birth and to be. No bargaining, no bartering.  I know I have to walk through fire to find out, and gladly I walk.

~ boundaries: I am not so sure now what I meant when I said this, but I think I am trying to transcend all time and space. It does not matter where I birth you, that space boundary no longer matters. And it does not matter what realm, physical or spiritual, Ferdinand may be. (Yes, this is as much about you as it is about Ferdinand, separate and unique entities you may be; but I truly believe you both are connected, intertwined…) This is about now, and yet the past, present and future are all entwined in one space, in one moment. I just sense it.

I call you sweet little soul, but you are not young. I believe you are an old soul who wishes to visit earth again. I am honored to have you come through me, so I may learn from you. You have no idea how much joy it has been to nurture you these past months. Oh, of course there was the almost-constant anxiety, but certainly there was much joy too. I thank you for this opportunity, for which I am also humbled. It has been a privilege.

Those months have been long. Bittersweet, heart-opening and beautiful, often tinged with sorrow. We approach a threshold now. And I am ready. I hope you are, too.

In love,

mama

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poem

This was read at my Blessingway by my wonderful friend M. I read Tagore’s works in Chinese in my younger days, but have no memory of this poem. I suppose at that time, I did not know to appreciate it. But now, this poem, it makes me weep. It is truly beautiful, though.

**

The End

It is time for me to go, mother; I am going.

When in the paling darkness of the lonely dawn
you stretch out your arms for your baby in the bed,
I shall say, “Baby is not there!”–mother, I am going.

I shall become a delicate draught of air and caress you;
and I shall be ripples in the water when you bathe,
and kiss you and kiss you again.
In the gusty night when the rain patters on the leaves
you will hear my whisper in your bed,
and my laughter will flash with the lightning
through the open window into your room.

If you lie awake, thinking of your baby till late into the night,
I shall sing to you from the stars, “Sleep mother, sleep.”

On the straying moonbeams I shall steal over your bed,
and lie upon your bosom while you sleep.

I shall become a dream,
and through the little opening of your eyelids
I shall slip into the depths of your sleep;
and when you wake up and look round startled,
like a twinkling firefly I shall flit out into the darkness.

When, on the great festival of puja,
the neighbours’ children come and play about the house,
I shall melt into the music of the flute and throb in your heart all day.

Dear auntie will come with puja-presents and will ask,
“Where is our baby, sister?”
Mother, you will tell her softly,
“He is in the pupils of my eyes, he is in my body and in my soul.”

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Today is January 2, 2009.

Big deal, really. It doesn’t mean a thing to me.  For me, Dec31 is a random ending to a year; and Jan 1 likewise is a random pick for the beginning of a “new” year. Perhaps these dates are so closely bundled with the joyous ho-ho-ho season of peace, love, and cheer, I tend to view it with suspect. These dates make me feel as if I have to do something about it. You know, review in retrospect, ponder and reflect,clean up my acts, make resolutions, look forward, be new.

I don’t feel new; I don’t feel like looking back in retrospect; I don’t feel like cleaning up my old devilish ways; and I don’t feel like becoming a better person with spanking new resolutions (truly just things I wish I am but never will be, renewed each year under a new guise).

You know what I want.

And, thank you, thank you, thank you, for all your love, support and comments the past weeks. I really, truly, deeply appreciate all of them. I hold them close to my heart and they buoy me through every single second of the day. I am reading (sort of), but not really commenting. And actually, not writing as much- again, suspect of being too verbose and having to regret things I said. But, I read all your posts about your thoughts and feelings about 2008 and your thoughts, feelings and hopes for 2009. They are thoughtful, wistful, heartbreaking, beautiful, amazing, and I curse with you, and I wish with you, too. Truly, sincerely. I hope this new year gets better for us all.

Another reason I am staying away from my own blog is… this may start to turn into something like a…. erm, daily cervix report. Or, daily contractions report; or something like: how my cervix feels like today.

Really.

I had a cervix check today. Would you like the details??

Better to fast-forward to the conclusion for today: no need to rush to hospital or anything. But body and baby seems to be heading in right direction. Still some ways to go. will wait till coming Tuesday to decide on next step.

Yes, it’s excruciating. And brutal. And I think I am coping by totally screening out the sensation and awareness of time. I do not think about the day of the week, the date, the year. I just breathe in and out and remember not to slouch too much. And eat chocolate cake. (I am eating this one now.)

Despite all my misgivings, I hope 2009 is all you wish it to be, and much much more.

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