Saturday, December 31, 2016


The year has reached its culmination point. The rhythm has been set, and it's a pace we automatically found comfort in. Our baby girl arrived under late November's wire; bringing with her a flood of love and joy. We are one month and some days into her beautiful little life, and she's as perfect today as she was when she was born, as she was when she was in my belly. I recognized her right away. They put her up on my chest and she swiftly kicked a little leg out and I thought, "I know that leg."  Our first glimpse of her confirmed our suspicions: there she is, the girl we both felt was in there (though we hadn't known for sure, we certainly suspected). Watching my husband love our daughter, calm her cries, soak in her presence, has solved me, as she has solved me. It was automatic; we don't know how to be without her.

This year and our baby girl's arrival have proved the village. We have eaten, slept, rested, and felt love because of the people around us. My parents love our girl as if she had always been here, as if they have know her forever; they love her without question and it moves me every time. My sisters, from go, have been my number one supporters on this journey of motherhood. They answer late night texts, and tell me their stories, and hold my baby as if she were their own. Our friends have become family, as we lean on their support, and the bringing of meals, and the messages of encouragement and connection. In short, we are blessed. What a wonderful gift to end a year on. 

I'm writing this post in a way I never have: on my phone. I have our sleeping babe on my chest, the cousins are playing around me, and our friends are downstairs, caring for us. I am exactly where I want to be, and my life is surrounded by good. Happy Year, thank you for what you brought to us. Through the hardships we came stronger, through our grief we came out healed, through confusion you brought clarity. And here, in my arms, there's this girl. Thank you Lord for this girl. 

(I will share a photo once I get myself onto a computer)


Thursday, November 17, 2016

any day now (tumbles)

photography by
The Labour Union

Any day now, you will be here.

Those little feet and my ribs will greet each other on opposite sides; though I can tell you, my ribs will miss the nearness of your toes.

Tumbles, you have taken space and we are already so proud of how you've grown. How much more will we love to know you, once you're here?

You'll get to meet your Daddy, know love like only he can show. You're luckier for having him than you'll ever know. We're all better for being near him, and you are his; a high honor, all yours.

You have brought our hearts so much, and we haven't even met you yet. We have guessed, of course: whose eyes, whose feet, whose hands like our hands will we meet? Whose heart has been carving a rhythm, and in whose chest? Any day now, you will be in our arms and not just our imaginations, and we will live to learn the rest of you.

Any day now, you will be here. And oh, we are so ready.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Enough, now.

I made a mistake. When I miscarried last year, I didn't take care of myself. I was okay too soon, because I viewed myself as someone who needed to be okay. I viewed my tasks as those which needed to be done by someone who was okay. I did not care for me, because I told myself I didn't need to, so reliant was my self-worth on being...okay. My family and friends asked and I was okay, because I believe it is better to be okay than to be a burden. I became so good at convincing everyone I was okay, that I even convinced myself. I didn't talk about the loss, didn't grieve it properly (or without guilt for that grieving), didn't expect anything from myself other than my ability to be okay. Denial became my lifeblood. I did not take time off work. I worked with coworkers who, with full knowledge of the details, spread rumors I had made it up, that I hadn't really been pregnant; coworkers who complained to the higher-ups that my commitment to work had really lapsed lately, and I should be held to a higher standard. So when I was called in and told of the many complaints, I apologized. I stopped escaping to sleep and cry, and within weeks of the loss, was back in full swing, and I didn't look back. There was no room for my grief, even in the rare moments I took note of it. And on the story goes.

I made a mistake. I didn't take care of myself, and in so doing, collapsed. It would be a good story if I could tell you that I fell apart in private; that my inevitable mental health breakdown was one which happened and was felt by only me, or even involved only me. But so deep had my denial grown, and so had my grip on reality. This is what happens when you do not take care of yourself; real life becomes illusion, and illusion, real life. But I didn't know that, couldn't tell the difference. I woke up one morning, and I, or who I had become, swung. One large bat-crack on the legs of someone I love the most, someone who deserves it least, and in public.  I spun paranoid delusions as fact, and people believed me. Because I am okay. They took my word for it, because I am okay. But I had lost touch, in every way, with Truth. 

I still remember the sound of that cracking bat, still remember the exact feeling of the air as it rushed past my hand as I swung. I still remember the sound of the world breaking. I was not okay, I was not okay, and I didn't know what I was doing. But I broke it. I broke my world.

I call myself the afterthought composer, and as often happens, I find it difficult to write until things are gone, or resolved, or settled, so I can reflect on them. So I can find the lesson and move on. But the effects of how I started this year have written most of the story, and quite frankly, time is up. I made a mistake, and I know now, it's time to move on.

If you want to know someone's truest heart for you, let them see you at your weakest, then wait. My public mental health breakdown immediately transformed my life into a giant sieve, of sorts. Within minutes, hours, over days, and as the months have gone, there are those who have showed themselves as passing sand, and those who show themselves steady; rocks; unmoving, in my corner. I have lost a lot this year, but oh, have I gained the truth of those hearts who've stayed around me. I woke up that morning and I broke, and by nightfall, was entirely shattered. It took a lot of ruin to see where I really was, and when I saw, oh God, it was so dark. The only reason I am still on this planet is because of my husband, who held me to the earth with what little thread I had left. He clung to me, and it is because of his love that I did not slip through my own fingers. If I pray one thing for you, it's that you know a love like this.

As I look into this basket of my life, I am surprised. People I was certain would still be here, aren't. They looked at me at rock bottom, and they kept me there. If you asked them even now, you would hear it; I am the worst version of myself. They've used my lowest moment to justify their leaving, they show it to others when they can. They have no remorse for joining those who spend their breath on sabotage (after all, my weakness proved their lengthy, buried point). But, there is good here, too. Because this basket of my life is still full. Full of rocks, boulders, loving hearts and good, good people.

When I felt like I needed to leave the earth, it's because I assumed my actions had emptied the basket. And they should have. If you ask me, I'll still tell you, I don't get it. I don't understand how, in the aftermath of such a terrible display, I still have people who love me. I still have people who hold me up, see me for my bests, know there is still good in me, and point it out when I can't see it. There are still people who fight for me, invite me, stand up for me, defend me. How easy is it to notice the few who are bent on destroying, and fail to see the many who are standing in defense? How easy is it, to live afraid of what those soul crushing people will say? Too easy, but it's enough, now. I am so thankful for my village, for the shape it's taking, and for those who choose to be in it. That is putting it far too simply.

It's time to move on to better things, to let go, to shake the dust. There is so much good in the world, and I am choosing to see it, to live it, to breath it in and run full tilt into the wind of this beautiful life.  And this life is about to get a lot more beautiful. Coming soon, the most wonderful announcement my husband and I could possibly make.

Do not worry about the sand, it adds not a minute to your life. There is good here; time to accept it.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Eden, pt 2

(part one)

The World was all before them, where to choose
Thir place of rest, and Providence thir guide:
They hand in hand with wandring steps and slow,
Through Eden took thir solitarie way.
Paradise Lost, Book 12, 646-649

Rooney Mara in Vogue; by Mert and Marcus
All the world is before us, and it is too big to face alone. Our wandering is slow; our attempts to rail against the slowness rush us heartily into vast decision, and the search for meaning. We walk hand in hand, like Milton’s fallen, but this togetherness is a cruel joke; hands must part to do the work. At the base of our very humanity, we are alone. Solitude is a natural state; enforced on a will we’ve been told is free.

The truth is, we have not moved on from the struggle of Adam. We are all standing at the edge of the world, looking for a place to rest. Though, we know by now, rest is elusive. The act of completion isn’t ours to make. Our exile from the garden was the loss of peace, so our search for resolution is never finished. There is no rest for the wicked, and, as the story goes, we are wicked. Eve and I have a lot in common, after all, and the fruit of the justified upper hand appeals to me (and has lost me), too.

There’s an irony in the story of their exile, though. Adam and Eve walked out, under the eye of Providence. Imperfection demanded separation, but God could not bear it. He told them to get out, and followed them anyway. This new creation, so newly disappointing, was not ended, but rather, sent out to flourish. They were tasked by their seed with the salvation of humanity, though they themselves had doomed it. God left them in charge of the world when they could not handle Eden.

Though Providence may guide us, Providence eludes us, too. He is always moving on, and so we must move on. From our losses, from our deaths, from the peace that comes with entitlement; we don't get to rest. We must move on.

To what? 

To work, which is the burden of our life. To life and loneliness with others. Even held hands must part, to do the work of trying.

All the world is before us. It is too big to face alone, and yet in one instant: we are and are not.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Sunday's coming.

Sunday's coming; Anticipation's rest.
Sunday: wherein the very bests will be upon us,
cause our heart's rust to be made new.

I used to imagine the storm was calmed with ease;
what a smooth surface, what a nice picture. Then a whisper came.
There is no surface healing; all healing is soul deep.
Jesus doesn't hand out band-aids, does he?
That body of water was not merely made straight so he could walk,
no: from the storm which caused its thrashing, it was freed.
The water was calmed

not just on the surface, but in the deep.
In that light I thought of my life as that very same sea; how in my feeble
boat where from I cast my desperate attempts, through wind and waves,
I beg the Lord to come here, calm me, walk through my life
as though my life were sea, and storms are raging.

Sunday's coming,
and in bliss, like sun after sleep, we'll know:
past surface, down into the deep, He's healed us.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Friday's here.

Friday's here.

This day, so familiar by now. Death in waiting, darkness as the days gone by.
There have been smatterings of light here, and there;
and now, on yet another Friday, we wait for something more.
For true solace, fulfilled hope we've oft' been called to want before.
Anticipation yanks us from our homes, draws our eyes upward, and out,
to horizons
along our spinning bit of earth, to sun-rises
and sunsets
and belief in the end of our Fridays.

Can we dare to face this dying? What loss have we felt, what marring?
Which ache leads us, holds us to the ground? This fear, which stands us up
and sits us down, is merely

Tombs do close on Friday;
and blood drips upon the ground;
and sweat, from holy and, alike, unholy brows,
does salt our faces
parch our mouths,
and we, unquenchable, thirst.

Because it is only Friday.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

It doesn't matter if you're good

animus by rudruk

I yelled at the sky this morning. Not out loud (only a little bid out loud), but internally. My heart rushed heavenward, and in a jittery, quaky voice it railed in anger. But those gates are immune to my anger. By now it's not hard for me to imagine a giant nose on heaven's door, and windowed eyes, forever looking downward, in lofted glances, down that nose, to me.

"I'm done." I said this morning. "My religion is dead." Life is a house of cards, and apparently, I firmly believe goodness is the glue that God uses to hold it all together; that if I'm good, it will mean something. I no longer believe this. Being good is nice, it is nice to be good, I would even say it is good to be good. But it doesn't mean anything. And there is no glue.

I marvel at men like Job. Oh who are we kidding - who in our taught history has been pillarized like Job? Job, the man who lost everything all the time repeatedly and still said nothing disparaging. Didn't question, didn't let his heart rush heavenward in anger, didn't say "I'm done" and give up his religion. It's an impossible standard Job, and I simply can't live up to it. You are the golden older sibling and I am the muddy, ruddy fall-behind who trophies pain so I can pick it up and look at it later. That's fine. I'm sure you don't mind; I'm just making you look better.

I heard once that if you're too dense to pick up the lesson the first time, God or the universe will teach you again, and again, and again, until you get it. I think I'm dense. Unless the lesson is: goodness, kindness, gentleness and justice mean nothing in this world's economy. I've picked that one up, by now.

In all likelihood, the second part of the lesson is this: Be good, kind, just and gentle anyway.

This is hard. I do not want to do this. I do not want to continue building to code if the bulldozers are still driving around with their eyes closed. By compulsion though, I still try. I still try even though I can see those wreckers trundling over mindlessly. I would like it to matter that I try.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

I love you every day

I try to explain it, but it really doesn't work that well. How much I love you, that is. I feel like you'll never fully know. You frame my poems and you melt me with your buttery brown eyes and you say I won't know either, how much you love me. This is a good place to be, and I know this. But I still wish I could tell you.

I love you every day. It breaks my heart to know I've been an idiot, and anxious, and scared, and in the greatest irony of my life time, have, by my own faulted hand, tainted the truth. Of how much I love you, that is. Of how good you are. How unequivocally good, and kind, and truthful, and patient, and undeserved.

I can not get enough of you. Sometimes I think I'll burst open if I go there, to the depths where my love for you is rooted. But when I get down there I see it: I'm not myself anymore. I'm a new thing, wholly entwined, completely attached, totally one, one hundred percent yours. It scares me, in the way something wretched must shrink back at the sight of God. I know this love, I've seen it, in the northern lights, in sunrise, in newborn babes and forest fires. And now, even moreso, in my love for you. It's all consuming, it overtakes the heart, awakens my world.

I love you, and those three words feel very little.

Friday, February 12, 2016


from instagram

I heard someone say this a couple of days ago: "I give mercy, not justice, because it has been given to me." So often I am caught up in trying to make sure things are right! or fair! and forget, entirely, to be merciful. Yet I am often unfair, unjust, and wrong, and still demand the good things come my way; I beg forgiveness when I will not give it; I ask for grace and in turn, respond in graceless wonder. Mercy, though. Mercy grounds. It is by Grace I have been saved, and Mercy that I am not left to wander. It is Mercy which allows my plank-filled eyes to see, sorrowed heart again to breathe, broken legs to stand. Mercy has been given to me. I cannot explain it, could not justify for you how or when it lands, will not be able to describe the feeling of Mercy in my dying hands. So I will give it, and Mercy, doing what Mercy does best, will go on from here. It will meet you. In dying hours and feeble attempts, it will meet you. Accept grace, give mercy. This is living.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

it was a baby to me

I miscarried.

God, it's hard to write that out. I've been avoiding that sentence since I first had to utter it, last summer. We had just told our families the week before and felt the joy of fulfilled anticipation and then I had my first ultrasound and then, and then, the ultrasound was empty. My blood counts started dropping, and within a week of that ultrasound I was in surgery, because even though there was no baby my body wouldn't let the pregnancy go.

As it turns out, there was never any baby, not at any point. This is what they tell me. Like some excerpt from a terribly written science-fiction novel I learned that my body was pregnant, but it was pregnant with a nothing. Six weeks in the nothing stopped growing, but my body stayed pregnant. Seven weeks, eight weeks, nine weeks along. Only I wasn't along.

One of Nature's crueler jokes, as it turns out, is something called a blighted ovum (or anembryonic pregnancy). Everything goes according to plan except that whole part of the process where a baby is made. Common, I've learned. Heartbreaking, too. I am not mourning the loss of a baby, but the loss of an idea. So I got the positive tests and the spiked blood counts and the growing uterus with stuff inside it and the weight-gain and the INSATIABLE HUNGER and the bigger clothes and the announcements and the planning and appointments and no baby.

But nobody died.

Nobody died. I pierced myself on this double-edged sword for a long time, and I'm probably still on it. On the one hand, that there was no loss of life is a blessing. It's a good thing, isn't it? Nobody died. I can't imagine the pain of losing a child at any stage past conception is survivable, and had somebody died, well, that would have been much worse. My grief over the loss felt and feels like cheating, because there was, not really, a loss.

On the other hand, I lost something. As it was explained to me, the positive sign on that pregnancy test immediately changes the lens on your whole life. Now everywhere you look, you see life through the lens of having a child. When you miscarry, it's as if the lens is stolen away, and without warning or preparation, you just have to deal with the sudden change of vision. Every time you encounter a view you haven't yet looked at through this scope, you have to adjust yourself. It takes awhile. That while and that adjustment hurts.

We are well into what would have been my third trimester. And I'm still sad. By instinct and without thinking I can tell you how far along I am, or would have been. Maybe not by week, because it would be too sad to count the weeks. But, generally. Generally, and also somehow quite acutely, I know. It's there like gravity, it never leaves. I wake up and fall asleep with the knowledge that I'm not adjusting my posture and I don't have any trouble standing up and I haven't had to pee in rather a normal amount of time. I'm back into my pre-no-baby jeans and I'm working myself up to run a 10k in the spring. And I wish I wasn't.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


There's something so beautiful about a new year, the promises as-yet-unfilled but oh, so present. Promise means everything to me, right now. Imagination, too. The daydreams and their rally cries have filled my head and heart.

And yet, it's January fifth. Five days in to the new year and I've not written a thing, except those first few sentences. I've been day-jobbing to the nth, organizing cabinets and laundry at home, and enjoying our rare winter sunshine as a method of escape from the first two. The pressure I put on myself to write every day is exponential; which is, perhaps, in a backwards way, why I don't.

Life is full, and priorities get mixed up in a bag of emotion. Sure, I prioritize writing, until my daughter walks in and wants me to craft with her, or chat, or play. There's not a moment's thought between what I was doing, and what I'm doing now she's here. When my husband comes home from work and offers me his thoughts on the day I run to him - nay, sprint - as fast emotionally possible. Computer? Processing? Those sentences can wait. It's time for our mid-week, post-bedtime, impromptu couch date.

So maybe this year will be more about the reconnect to earth, that fine balance of PRODUCE vs EMBRACE. Pausing is necessary, but so is work. I'm still on my "Inspiration as starting place is bunk!" bandwagon, though admittedly, my natural state is to wait for it.

There's something so beautiful about a new year, and the promises we tell ourselves we'll keep. Common commentary mocks resolution, points a funny finger at it, and laughs. But I say, make resolutions, conjure dreams, decide. Then, at your will: falter, sleep, and change your mind. Priorities, after all, are merely emotional. Who knows what this year will bring? Be in the moment, whenever you find yourself in one. Bring your whole self with you; be where you are. Excuse yourself to the sanctuaries of your productivity, but when you are finished, bring your works and you back out into the bustle of every day life. You're needed, even if you feel you haven't done a thing.