Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Patient Weavers


Fragile as a spider's web
Hanging in space
Between tall grasses,
It is torn again and again.
A passing dog
Or simply the wind can do it.
Several times a day
I gather myself together
And spin it again.
Spiders are patient weavers.
They never give up.
And who knows
What keeps them at it?
Hunger, no doubt,
And hope.

- May Sarton

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Phoenix Again

Thank you to Janis, author of Ferdinand's Gifts
for posting this poem of renewal.

The Phoenix Again

On the ashes of this nest
Love wove with deathly fire
The phoenix takes its rest
Forgetting all desire.

After the flame, a pause,
After the pain, rebirth.
Obeying nature’s laws
The phoenix goes to earth.

You cannot call it old
You cannot call it young.
No phoenix can be told,
This is the end of the song.

It struggles now alone
Against death and self-doubt,
But underneath the bone
The wings are pushing out.

And one cold starry night
Whatever your belief
The phoenix will take flight
Over the seas of grief

To sing her thrilling song
To stars and waves and sky
For neither old nor young
The phoenix does not die.

- May Sarton

Janis, who lost her son Ferdinand to a full term stillbirth in July of 2007, recently gave birth to her daughter, Lyra Phoenix. I appreciate that Janis continued to write her blog during her pregnancy. Being pregnant after the loss of a child is a unique experience, one that I am finding does not easily translate into words at this point. As this child grows inside me, I mostly feel quiet and watchful... immensely grateful, and at the same time, so very vulnerable.

I remember during my pregnancy with Sage, I felt really bothered when people would feel compelled to tell me the worst pregnancy horror story they could think of. This happened several times, and I really just did not want to hear it.

It is different now. So many of the people I have contact with have lost a child, and their stories are part of me now. The fragility of life is always in my awareness. I am not trying to hide from that reality anymore, and I guess there is some freedom in that. But some days I really wish for the innocence of not knowing grief.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Secret Whispered in the Spanish Room

I'm feeling pretty overcome with gratitude for the sweetness of life right now. We moved into our new house over the weekend, and it is wonderful. There are lots of fun details (a mermaid painted on the side of the claw-foot tub, for example).

The upstairs bedroom has a bunch of cubby spaces, which my niece (Oceana) enjoyed playing in today. She said that one was her "Spanish room," and one was her "English room," and one was her "thinking room."

I crawled into the "Spanish room" with her, closed the door, and told her (in the dark) that I am pregnant. She seemed pretty nonchalant about it, but asked if I was going to have the baby today. I told her she would be 5 years old before the baby is born. She patted my stomach (which is beginning to show a little) and then went on with her play.

Later, Oceana was amused when her mom told her that the baby is only about the size of a peanut. She laughed, and I wondered what image popped into her mind when she heard that.

As for my pregnancy, everything is going smoothly. The morning sickness has eased off a little, thank goodness. I find myself remembering my first pregnancy a lot, and remembering Sage. I am learning to hold my memories of him alongside my dreams of my second child.

My mom made this beautiful card for me for my birthday.

It says:

Let today--
the past with remembrance and the future with longing.