I have to say that I’ve been phoning in the poems a little. After the grief and emergent healing of the last two weeks, I’ve pushed the feels on the back burner, somewhat. It’s all still there, and the little piece of lavender soap in it’s crocheted pouch still causes me to burst into tears regularly, but I’ve been writing fast and today I’m determined to write a longer, slower poem. So, I’m getting started early.
I have several poem shards. This organization adventure I’ve embarked on is a good challenge, and I think it is a product of grief and stress. Order out of chaos. Julie Morgenstern’s book Organizing from the Inside Out is changing my life. I’ve never been a very organized person, and it’s a very recent realization that my tendency towards creative chaos is causing more stress in my life than it is worth. The girl’s school schedule is part of it. We have added routines to the mix, but life doesn’t seem to provide extra time for these routines. Nesting, getting us ready for winter, and trying to bring peace and calm to our household is occupying my mind and my heart these days.
But, I don’t really want to write a poem about my Fall cleaning endeavor and its orgins in grief today.
What’s really on my mind is that I’m also approaching an anniversary of sorts. At this time last year I was barely keeping it together. I had just recovered from one surgery, and was approaching another, and I was scared. It’s a very unique position to be in, as a woman faced with having to give up her womb. At one point last fall I was very certain that my creative energies lived in my uterus, because that is where I felt them. And because it wasn’t on my own timeline, I felt real sorrow at the prospect of losing my fertility, even though we had decided we didn’t want any more children. In retrospect, I would be out of my mind crazy right now if we had three children. I don’t know how people do it.
I’d like to write a reassuring poem for those who might be facing the same thing, but in doing my obsessive online forum reading back when my surgery date was imminent, or after, too, while lying in bed recovering, I would get really frustrated at other women’s success stories. How crazy is that? But, because I am constantly belittling myself and my own strength, I’d read things like “I was up and walking the day after!” Or, “I was riding my bike two weeks after!” and get really down. So, maybe the truest thing to day about recovering from that is: 1) it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, and 2) healing happens when it happens. It cannot be rushed, or it will take longer. 3) it is different for everyone, and comparisons are useless. 4) One day, all of a sudden, I felt like me again, only wiser.
Maybe this poem can be a letter to last year’s self? That could work. I’m going to try.
A Place for Everything
Dear you of last year’s fears, it is not the womb that makes you wise. It is the blood, and each creeping teaspoon of healing becomes big globs of wisdom, knowledge that courses and pumps through the holiest organ, beneath its cage of bone, steady and regular. You are stronger than you think. That much is fact. You feel so hard it pins you in place sometimes, wriggling like a specimen of heart. That much is also fact. You will be provided care, by the very people whose job it has been all a long, and they will help you with the bandages. You will read to your children with the hot pad in bed. You will sip endless cups of tea and watch Downtown Abbey with your mom. Your retired Dad will come out and teach for you. Food will be brought. You are in hands of quick comfort. Rest through the night tonight. Pack up that panic and save it in a jar. All your knowledge will find it home again, in your fingertips and palms held close to your chest. Feel it rising. Let it fall. Repeat. There is a place for everything in this new arrangement inside. No holes, just wise stitches. You will laugh at a your body a lot this year. Some of this will be gross but funny. Write it down. And while you are at it, write down everything else that is true. Do it for a whole year, every day, until you find the sense in it, and find the joy, and the lessons, and when found, put the sense joy lessons properly in place, somewhere you can find them without looking.
Okay. That was harder than I thought. Naptime poems are always hard. I did learn a lot this year, and that is worth thinking about. There was a lot of love in my life this year. Tons, actually. Happy Sunday, poemfriends. (Yes, that is a picture of a”beefy uterus”. Not my original creation, that’s here: http://www.fitocracy.com/knowledge/four-steps-to-weight-room-dominance-for-women-or-im-a-girl-and-i-want-to-lift-wat-do/