The Journey

journey

“You are ok,” was what my therapist told me during my next breakdown at the second emergency appointment, a year or so after sweet Leif left my womb. I looked at her unblinking stare through the thick dead-fish glaze that was hovering over my eyes, and then around her office for something to throw at her face. One of her many psychoanalytical books she quoted way too often. That’s how ok I was. Clenched jaw and fists, violent thoughts, and unpredictable outbursts of anger were becoming my norm. But maybe it was ok to want to hurt others and to cry, on and off all day, everyday. I was the definition of bi-polar, oscillating between my maniacal love for existence, and my “I-want-to-die-what-is-the-point-of-this-fucking-life” states. She had the tendency to say things that really pissed me off, trying to shine light in a room closed off, dark, far away from any chance of luminosity. She told me I was strong when I felt so fragile, I thought I could shatter to pieces if someone breathed too hard. She pointed out that I was still alive – young, bright, with a promising life ahead of me. What she didn’t know was that I actually played dead because I was terrified of life. When I would cry some more because I wanted to claw at her uterus, and didn’t know why I came to see her in the first place, she would hold immense space for me. She didn’t judge me or tell me that I was supposed to be something other than what I was. She allowed the storm to rage and pass. The space was often terrifying; too big, and too small, all at once. The world outside would explode, while my internal universe imploded, and always, at the end of each session, like all the others, I felt a bit better – all cried out and empty. Calm. The emptiness was somehow fullness. I was all Zen-ed out.   And then she would say that it was only going to get easier, that these storms would start losing their intensity, that I would be and feel right again. That’s how I would survive yet another day, another week, until my next breakdown.

I drank a lot because somehow my conscious mind was convinced that wine could drown out the pain. Little did I know then, but I missed my blind spot entirely. I drank and raged like a wild animal disillusioned by the deceitful thoughts that urged me to simply disappear. Nothing was ever drowned except for my liver. Alcohol brought up the 500-year floods of tears, the shame that I was burrowing in my intestines, and the thunderous anger I felt for life. It eventually, slowly, became clear, that I was actually trying to flee from the dullness. Some very twisted part of me wanted to drink up the pain.  Boozing brought back the visceral experience of emptiness. How can we comprehend this loud, echoing call of emptiness? Why in the world would I want to hurt? Part of myself was asking for one thing, but really wanting, and needing the opposite. Feeling was much better than not feeling at all. But my mind didn’t think so. I was torn between my own life and death.

Pain turned to fear. What could I lose next? How much would I have to swallow to never again spit back up? I grasped to those close to me so tight that I suffocated them. I imagined my loves ones dying at every moment they were not in my presence. I played the game of push and pull to see just how far I could get them away from my frantic, dangerous mind, only to desperately pull them back in. I hungered for love and security, fully knowing that both were illusory. But still, I hung on to deception.

I realized how things have changed when others asked me how I was doing. I would really feel into my answer, saying, “I’m alright…” I used to be “great,” and sparkly eyed and then the dead fish glaze set in. I rarely went into dissecting my “ok,” because I knew I would fall apart. I was ok with being ok, but really missed being alive.

Light shines in dark places to create life. Life finds itself, no matter how small, or lost. The Universe wants to evolve, move on, create, and become. It took many, many months of therapy, pain, and isolation to witness the path of unfolding. To feel the point between dying and rebirthing, the small space separating one from the other. Vast.

There is no exact time that these shifts began to take form. There was no intimate play with the witness. It was too gradual. You don’t just wake up one day and feel blissed out, like nothing ever happened. I mean, you could, but you would be hiding. Grief is its own entity; timeless. The beautiful crone.

Every experience of my life makes up who I am today. Sure, I would take some of those back, especially from the years where I was tiny and not able to remove myself from disserving circumstances. But this…I don’t know. A big part of me would not change a thing. It’s all part of the divine plan and I trust that. It altered my path and opened doors that would otherwise remain close. But the Mother in me is mourning. Always. She would take it all back.

It’s strange to write about this other Ania who I know still resides deep within, but is not present in this moment. At least not in this dimension, as I know it. I hold her in my heart so tenderly because I know all that she has gone through. And when I have a flashback, a relapse, or identify with the sadness of her soul, I hold so much compassion for her pain, because I know it far too well. But who am I now in relation to who I was back then, and what separates the two? Am I the progression? What is this unfolding?

I believe I am stronger in some ways, wearing my battle wounds with a mix of pain and pride. I am fascinated with death and birth, like never before. I see it happening all the time, in me, in those around me, in Nature. One experience swallows me up, only to spit me back to what was never before imagined. Energy moves, onward, only to be reborn again. I witness that in my garden when I rip out the roots of precious “weeds” to make space for the seedlings I planted. How is that any different from extracting a baby to create room for something greater and more inclined to flourish? I feel that I have been initiated into something deeper, darker, more transparent. I am learning how to surrender to powers greater than what my limited mind can comprehend. I am learning to give my heart away, trusting in its loyalty to never really abandon me. I trust in Life.

And I trust in Death.

This has been the greatest and most intense journey of my life. Putting it into words seems like it’s cheating the experience. But I try anyway, because somehow that is a gift I have been given, even in its limited form.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been over two years since those therapy appointments, and I can look back and not only feel right again, but also see that I was OK even then. Because the truth is that we’re always ok, even when it seems like the world is crumbling down. Even in the darkest corners, light penetrates, eventually. Creation wants to shapeshift, to keep on creating. How else could we experience the essence of light if we don’t experience the darkness, in whatever form it manifests?

In the end, my wise therapist was right. I was dunked under and came to resurface to witness Life anew. To find a purpose that’s awaited me. To let go of a vision not yet ready to be manifested. To miss and love the child I never got to hold in my arms alive. To dive deeper into the mystery. To be in awe of existence and trust in its coordinates. To open, and close, only to open again. To laugh and cry, seeing one as the necessary step to the other. To breathe in life. To breathe out. To die. To tell the story.

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Trigger

You can’t help but go down the rabbit hole.  Again.  You warned yourself, set caution, but you just don’t listen.  The hole is too big and your vision too blind.  There is no time to grab your crayons, or start a lavender bath.  If you sit and breathe, you will implode.

Bam.  You pull the trigger and you don’t even know it.  You’re firing bullets at the world around you, colored in sepia and black and white.  There is fear clawing at your insides, turning  to rage as it seeps out in froth, sweat, and screams.  All reason is gone.  You are on your own, without a life vest, drowning in the vast ocean of emotions too familiar.  You put yourself on pause and hit fast rewind.

The victim comes out and begs to be heard.  You are so very misunderstood – a walking lunatic, repeating the same cycles.  But to you, everyone is a predator and you’re fighting for your very own life, to save or forget a memory.

You are young again, asking for help in the form of rebellion because now you can.  Now, expression is possible, speak-able, yell-able, and sometimes, even fucking throw-able.  Now is your chance to set things straight.  To make things right.  To be seen.  You have resurfaced and you want to speak your truth; truth that at one point was stuck in your throat and hairballed out, only to be tucked away behind the medicine cabinet filled with anti-depressants, or the liquor cabinet, filled with fine wine.  You are not self-medicating.  Only clearing yourself of the past.  Your runaway plan is accepted because everyone else is running too.  They like you calm and thunder-less and only ask for the occasional ocean breeze.  Just so they know you’re still here.

You only want to know that it’s ok.  You want to hear it.  You yearn for them to see right through you, to see the plea in your eyes to be held.  You silently beg for their compassion.  You are literally fighting for love.  Sometimes, you’re even flighting for love.

You breathe the past, digest it, and store it away in your fat cells.  Your belly grows on memories, but you don’t remember.  There is only the now and the history of the world happens in this moment, in the now-to-now present.  You summon yourself back, shining the light down the hole where you found no rabbits.

As you crawl back up, you’re hoping that they’ll understand, that they will love you and embrace your return, no matter what.  You pray that you have not yet pushed them away.  You pray that the wounds will heal.  Next time, you will know, your promise.  Next time, you will see the bigger picture.  Next time, you will be in time.  In the meantime, you will try to remember.

Rocky Road

As if the grief itself wasn’t enough, I have now been diagnosed with postpartum depression.   I was feeling the intensity of the grief gradually lessening and slowly peeling away, and now this whole new level of emotional complexity has slapped me in the face.  It’s not the kind of depression that makes me want to stay in bed, close the curtains, and become a vampire.  It’s the kind that makes me swing ever so high and low.  I alternate between bliss and gloom.  The highs are out of control, where life appears to be full of amazing options and possibilities, and I can’t wait to jump on all of them.  The world vibrates with color and yumminess.  The lows, on the other hand, are not as fun.  The fire of the drive gets extinguished and I become a lump of misery full of stagnation, surrounded by the theme of death and abandonment.  And to think that this is just the hormones playing their devious games!

I used to hold a theory that we are all moving in an upward spiral.  I say “used to” because these days I find myself running in circles, and even frequently spiraling downwards.  It’s as if I am turning back into a child; one that’s in a constant state of a tantrum.  Then for a minute, I snap out of it, become an adult once more, shake my head at my immature behaviors, and remind myself that this is a process.  Until again, the tantrums come on and I degrade one more level, back to where I started some years back.

I have always been a sensitive person but sensitivity has now gained a whole new meaning in my life.  I cry when someone gives me a bad look, or when I accidentally kill an ant in my attempt to bring it outside to safety.  I scream in my car when someone cuts me off or when the traffic is not moving.  I cry for being an angry person.  I yell at my partner for not being there for me, when I don’t even know how to be there for myself.  Again, I cry.  I push him away.  I pull him in.  I throw lamps, kick walls, break things.  And then I sob, uncontrollably.  In the midst of my tantrums, I turn into a wild animal.  There is no reasoning with my mind in that state because my mind has been emptied of reasons.  The only reasons that are left are the ones worth crying over.

Where are these crazy emotions coming from?  I was told that anger is one of those forces that once expressed, gains power instead of dissipating.  I also read somewhere that the more I reject a part of myself, the stronger it becomes.  But I am having a really hard time accepting this “new” me because it’s ruining my life.  And like I would never do to a child, I scold the one in me, afraid to accept it and love it.  Sometimes I think that I’ve created a child in my emotional being so that there is someone to take care of, in the face of losing Leif.  I’m constantly trying to find some sort of tangible explanation for my madness.  The hormones don’t always resonate with the mind that seeks a more solid explanation.  Where the hell is the off button?

I have chosen the naturopathic path to recovery, hoping to bring back some balance into my life through good old herbs and acupuncture.  I’m tired of running into the wall, and just  really want harmony present in my life.  This has been a bumpy ride on a rocky road, to say the least.  But I’m still learning through it all.  Perhaps the learning is the upward spiral, after all.  The mind/heart space is a deep and complex space and experiencing new depths of it, as hard as the experience might be, is always in some way enlightening, even when the lights appear to be out.  Onward, I move, to see what exists around the bend…

Surrender

We are here to learn.  Every experience, good or bad to our relative perception, is in some form a lesson.  Throughout the past three months, I kept on asking myself what exactly I have learned from the experience of losing Leif?  I am a different person than I was then, there is no doubt about it.  My capacity for love has broadened, I have discovered new depths of my being, worked through my own childhood trauma and conditionings, found a new sense of compassion for the suffering of others, and have been shown the magic of surrender.  I always knew that we had little control over our lives, but this concept became much clearer this time around.  It has lost its conceptual value and became pure experience.  We don’t learn from concepts, we learn from experience.  I thought I was in control of my pregnancy.  I ate the right food, did all the rights things to care for this growing being inside of me, and just like that, it was taken away.  Unknown acute infection, they said.  A mystery in a life where all seemed solid and in control.

The fact is that we never know what is going to happen.  My reality today is so different than it was three months ago, or even ten months ago.  It’s constantly changing.  The change does not always come about because we plan it so.  Most times, it occurs without our consent, or even knowing.  I can have plans to go to Hawaii with my partner in two months, but who knows what could and will happen between now and then?  The possibilities are endless, so then what are the odds that I will actually end up going?  Make a plan but do not attach yourself to its outcome – this is one of my most important ongoing lessons.  The only experience that is solid is the one that happens now.  Too often have I been disappointed by the lack of realization of future plans.  I am learning to surrender to the moment-to-moment experience and the unseen forces that control it.

Surrender to higher forces is a hard one to swallow and accept as part of life.  We have been taught from early on that our lives are in our hands.  When we run late for an appointment because we hit every damn red light on the way, it is still somehow our fault.  Most of us do not reach beyond the ordinary to see that every one of our actions creates a ripple effect in the world around us.  We don’t always mean to create these ripples, but they are necessary for existence to continue.  If we are late, it is because we were supposed to be late.  It is because we were supposed to be at this or that intersection in this or that moment.  We are always exactly where we’re supposed to be at all times, to fulfill our destiny.  With that hard understanding, surrender slowly seeps in.  I do not exclude the power of prayer, intention, or free will.  I strongly believe that they are all part of our path and manipulate the higher forces at hand.  However,  the lesson is to make the prayer or intention and let it go, or to make the choice and surrender to its outcome.  It’s a constant practice, but one so worth investing our souls into.  We are always ok, no matter what.  We are always learning.

Somehow with the process of surrender, life becomes more organic and trustworthy.  Expectations are gone, standards are lowered, and disappointments disappear.   We open the door for pure contentment.  Then why is it so hard to let go of this need for control?  Through my experience, I have come to understand that part of the reason is because of how we have been shaped and conditioned by our parents and society. As a child, I learned that if I don’t get something that I want, I should be sad and cry.  Nobody ever told me that it’s beyond my control.  I was told that when I grow up, and work hard, I can make anything happen.  I can have anything that I dream of.  I will gain control over my life.  The lesson of surrender comes with disassembling these hard beliefs.  I have yet to see the end of the process in my own life, but with each trial, the conditioning weakens.

Even when I drop my own expectations of myself, there are those of others.  Those around me expect me to be a certain way, needing to control that which is even further beyond their control than even their own lives.  How can we set expectations of others, if we can’t even control what happens in our lives?

I am making a vow to accept reality around me as it is, with the understanding that I am EXACTLY where I need to be at all times and that everything that happens in my life is for a higher purpose.  I am here to learn.

Writing through the Taboo


Why are we, as a society, so afraid of death?  Why is even the word itself so hard to say out loud?  Death is just as much a part of life as birth, and yet we celebrate one and shun the other.  Shouldn’t death be just as openly received as its counterpart?  And isn’t death just another birth?

I have stumbled upon these questions all my life, but their significance has never become as clear and apparent as it has in the past month.  I gave birth to death exactly 31 days ago.  But in the time since, I have come to notice just how much more was born out of this experience than just a still body.  I gave birth to love, pain, wonder, depth, friendships, compassion, faith, hope, questions, and so much more.  I, myself, have been reborn.  I touched upon places within myself that I didn’t even know existed.

We held a “Wiping of the Tears” ceremony for Leif on Sunday, which was led by a local Lakota Indian community leader.  The ceremony was beautiful and deeply moving, intended to cut emotional ties, and allow for the spirit to move on to “the better world.”  Since the Natives believe in the connectivity of all beings, seeing everything in nature as a relation, this kind of ceremony serves as a soothing balm for the pain of the survivors.  However, it is not about saying goodbye, but simply acknowledging the passing and understanding that souls always meet again in another time.  The ceremony was followed by a purification sweat, in which we All prayed, regardless of race, sex, religion, or age, as a family and a community.  The prayers extended from the micro world of myself, Nathan, and Leif, to the macro world of relatives, friends, strangers, animals, spirits, plants, and elements.  We prayed for peace, health, and harmony throughout.  As we cleansed our minds and bodies and purified our souls and intentions, I came to a still place of acceptance.

I am so blown away by the how the Lakota people regard death, and the way they honor the passage.  There is a deep understanding and open reception of the internal pain that resides in our souls following a loss.  There is also a strong sense of encouragement to move forward and feel gratitude for the lessons offered by the Creator, as well as everything that still remains in our lives.  With death, comes the appreciation for life.

I was raised in a culture much different from that of the Natives.  I’ve dreaded funerals in my life, finding them dark and depressing.  I never understood why I had to wear black, even to funerals of those who led extraordinary and joyful lives.  There have been times when I wanted to celebrate the life and not mourn the death, but my desire was not supported by the culture.  Whenever I mentioned death around anyone sick, I would stun the room into silence.  Even these days, certain people who know me try to look the other way when they see me approaching, avoiding the life-death connection at all cost, and escaping the discomfort that this taboo presents.

The only guarantee in life is death.  We can plan on experiencing many things, but nothing is ever certain or secure, except for the reality that every living thing will eventually leave this plane and move on to another.  And yet, I feel that we avoid talking about it, looking it in the face, in hopes of never experiencing it.  What is it that scares us the most?  Is it the pain?  The separation?  Or is it the journey into the unknown?  Perhaps breaking through the taboo, and letting go of the fear and discomfort associated with death, can create room for more appreciation and freedom in life.  Maybe with shedding the fear of loss, we can stop grasping and start loving.  How can our society open to the reality of the only inevitable?  How do we break through this taboo?

The Language of Suffering

It’s been almost four weeks since I delivered Leif.  I remember being at the hospital and wishing that I was not a part of the present.  I wanted to teleport into the future, to at least a month from where I was.  And here I am now, almost a month away from then, and a part of me is still longing to be in the future, the time when the pain will be gone.  But will the pain ever really be gone?  And is the pain ever really that bad?  I truly believe that the Universe never gives us more  than we can handle.  The grieving process is beautiful in its own way.  It has gotten me in touch with reality more than any other experience in the past.  It has put me in the present moment, even when at times, I wish so much that I could escape it.  It is in the present moment that I can really feel myself being alive.

There is suffering everywhere in the world.  It is part of life.  However, it is the perspective and the attitude that we take on the suffering that manages its intensity and duration.  I believe the worst kind of suffering is the mental kind.  I cannot say that a person starving or being subjected to atrocious genocide is suffering more than the CEO of some corporation, always on the go, always craving power and money, always dissatisfied.  I am in no way a judge in whose misery is easier or worse.  The starving person can have an understanding, the in-depth wisdom that recognizes the lessons and the blessings in every moment and situation.  Meanwhile, someone who we perceive as successful and happy could be tortured by his/her mind, by lack of love.  We just never know and yet assumptions, judgments, and projections come to us so easily, muddling authentic reality.

Suffering is suffering, no matter what form it shows up in.  Pain and suffering are Universal languages.  I am learning this innate language.  I feel connected to those who are experiencing pain, for we share this collective theme.  I listened to Democracy Now the other day and heard a 10-year-old Afghan girl testify against American soldiers for coming into her house in the middle of the night and murdering her family.  I cried in that moment for her loss.  Losing an entire family can be seen as much worse than losing a fetus, but pain is pain, regardless of its circumstance.  And in that pain, I can feel the pain of the world.  My grief is teaching me about compassion.  It has taken me out of my little Universe and opened me up to the world outside.  I am being shown the way to Love all beings, realizing that anyone might be suffering.  With small steps at a time, I am changing perspective on my own suffering.   I’m acquiring a new found sense of gratitude, inspired to be a more compassionate and loving human.

Meltdown


I’m bored with food, even when I’m hungry.  There is nothing that I crave, no food that I’m in the mood for.  The taste is bland, and no amount of spices can make it any better.  I cried tonight because I looked at a piece of fish after not eating for seven hours and nothing about it excited me.  It was a piece of wild caught salmon, food that used to satisfy my soul, and now it’s just a piece of dead fish lacking flavor that I feel so sorry for.  It has given its life to sustain me, and I can’t even appreciate it.  I look for food to satisfy me, to somehow fill this empty space, but it just doesn’t seem to do the trick.

I am so sad.  I realized tonight that I live between two worlds – the one in which I cry and get overpowered by feelings, and the one where I don’t feel much.  I weave in and out of these worlds, making the switch in my sub-conscious mind.  There is no choosing.  It chooses me.  While I’m in one world, the other one seems far away.  The world of my past in which I used to look forward to the next day, where I used to laugh and feel light, that world seems to have disappeared altogether.  I’m left with the memory and the hope that someday I will return there.

I write from a place of grief.  I write to relieve some of these feelings, to transcribe what goes on the inside to the world outside.  I write to share and to touch those places that lack emotion.  But as I read my posts once the switch is made from one world to the other, I feel completely detached, as if it was someone else who wrote those words, who exposed themselves so nakedly.  I listen to people express their sorrows for my grief and look at them, wanting so badly to console them.  I want to say, “Don’t be sorry.  Don’t feel sad.  I’m not.”  And I mean it in my mind, for sorry is not what I feel when feelings are not present.  But then I go home and I try to make dinner and I look at a piece of fish and feel sorry.  I feel sad for the fish, for the world, for myself.

When I’m numb, I long to feel.  When I feel, I crave numbness.  I’m lost in a sea of suffering and I want to find my way out.  I pray for it to end.  I’m trying to keep everything together but feel myself coming apart at the seams.  I want to run and hide but there is nowhere I can go where I won’t find myself.

I’m slowly melting down…

Waves

Three weeks ago, on my way out to California, night after night, I had repetitive dreams about huge tidal waves.  The dreams were all different.  In some, I was drowning beneath them, while in others, I was simply riding and playing amidst these gigantic swells, but even then, I experienced a sense of fear, dread, and anxiety.  Since I’m a very avid dreamer, remembering up to 15 dreams in full detail per night, I take them quite seriously, especially with their frequent reoccurrence.  And so I looked up what tidal waves in dreams represented, and here is what I found:

“A tidal wave is a very strong symbol and can simply indicate that there is something stronger and more powerful that will just sweep us away without warning. It may symbolize our wish to protect some vulnerable family member.”

The first thing that I thought of while reading this interpretation was little Leif in my belly, whose movements have slowed over that week.  I was worried about him and put my hand on my belly, only to feel him give me a strong kick a few minutes later, as if saying “I’m OK Mom, I’m here.”  At least that’s what I gathered from that interaction.  That same night was the last time I ever felt Leif’s movements.

It’s been so hard to look back and follow the course of events right before Leif’s death because I end up blaming myself, questioning what I could have done differently, or trying to rearrange the past that already happened and can’t be changed.  But as I sat up in bed in the middle of the night last night, I remembered the waves, as I felt myself drowning, not only in my own tears, but in grief.  These past two weeks have been all about dwelling in these waves of emotions, waiting for one wave to end so I can resurface and catch a breath before the next one comes in and crushes on top of me.  Did I actually foresee this coming?

At times I feel that life is trying to drown me, that I won’t have enough strength to get through the next sets of tsunamis coming at me.  I get beat up, held down at the bottom, only to come up with what seems like the last breath left in me, and experience a sea so calm, that all feels like a dream.  I am living my dreams, and I can’t seem to wake up.  Life has become spontaneous, unpredictable, deep,  and  demanding, and though I can’t foresee it lessen in intensity, at least I’m becoming a damn good swimmer.

Fears

Nathan half awoke in the middle of the night, asking me what was on my mind.  I responded, “everything.”  That’s all he inquired in between dreams and snores, sensing my restlessness, before he rolled back over and resumed his nightly excursions.  I envied his childlike sleep in that moment, frustrated with my over-active mind.   I had already laid there for hours, watching him breathe as my thoughts raced from one thing to the next, not following any particular pattern.  I was grateful for him then, as I am now – he, the father of my son, and the love in my life.  But as I watched him breathe, I also imagined him not breathing, and the grip around my heart grew tighter, throwing my body into shivers and plunging my mind into darkness.  Fear took over my being as it has many times in the past two weeks, poking my neurosis with the question, “what if something would happen to him?”  He gets irritated when my brain gets consumed with such paranoia, but the fear seems solid and ever-present and I struggle with both, facing it and making it go away.  I’ve become scared of losing the ones who I care about.  I’m afraid that losing everything of value is somehow a lesson in this lifetime that I need to learn.  I’m petrified of being alone.  In the frequent times that these fears arise, I strive to reach deep into the vast knowledge I’ve picked up over the years, perhaps over lifetimes, towards the source that tells me to trust.  I recall the Buddhist and yogic teachings of non-attachment and the impermanence of life.  It makes sense and settles my mind for some time until the part of me that’s human, the part that is so attached to this life and the people in it, the part that’s so deeply emotional, rebels against these concepts.  After all, that’s all that they are – just concepts.  I don’t know how to align my experience with these beautiful philosophies.  I get them, grasp them fully with my intellect, but my experience just doesn’t comprehend.  My heart loves, so deeply, and with that love comes attachment.  Is this the game of ignorance?  Am I completely blinded by this illusion of life?  How do I embody the wisdom that resides deep down, the insights that come from beyond just this life?  How can I learn to live out these concepts that make sense on one level and don’t on another?  The idea of an equanimous mind is lovely, but how can I not  be reactive to something as tragic as death touching a life that keeps going?  Where does the grey between experience and theory become distinguishable?

Questions

I am being haunted by questions, all the Whys of my life chasing me around.  I’m trying to understand this reality, these universal acts that occur without our active consent, these unpaved, bumpy roads that we find ourselves on – Lost.  I long to understand the reasons, the purpose behind each experience that changes the course of our lives so drastically.  Why did Leif have to die?  Why was he conceived, and why did I have to carry him for seven months?  Why is this a part of my path?  Why did we have to experience such an intense loss?  Why are there so many unwanted babies in this world?  Why did a baby that was so loved and wanted have to go?

I always believed that there is a higher purpose to everything that happens in our lives.  I’ve always preached it to those who were experiencing tough times, to those whom I believed were receiving lessons in their unfavorable circumstances.  But now, I am one of “those,” and the part of me that is buried beneath depths of grief is providing all the questions, fighting the idea of a higher purpose.  The part that is my Ego self wants to know why this happened to Me?  What could I have done differently?  What have I learned from this experience?  What has this prepared me for?  I grapple with these questions, this world of labyrinths and its dead ends, but all I get is more questions.  When will my life’s interrogation stop?  How long before I accept all that has been and is, and move on?  How long before I look back and see all the answers?

Pain

There is no hiding from the pain.  Sometimes, it’s the perfect attacker, hiding behind closed doors and sharp corners, pouncing on its prey at random intervals.  There is no telling when the attack will come; there is no time to prepare.  The pain follows wherever I go.  It comes into the shower, guards the back door, rides the waves in music, even penetrates my dreams.  Other times, it creeps up slowly, taking over the whole place, the whole body, the whole mind.  It cuts right through the core like a razor, or a knife,  or a fucking machete.  It brings back the past that I long to leave behind.  There is nowhere to go where it can’t enter.  It can’t be escaped  because it lives buried inside, with the world around only reflecting its existence.  I have come to know the many faces of pain, the unbearable footprint of emptiness it often leaves behind.  But I have also learned to welcome the pain as it makes me feel in times when the everything around seems dull.  The pain makes sense of love.  The pain shows that I am human.  While my heart weeps, I get stronger.  The pain has shown me what it’s like to be a warrior.

Following the Body

It’s getting harder and harder to think in a linear way, to think logically, to think beyond this experience.  I’ve been advised to write, but how can I write when I can’t think?  How can I try to make sense of thoughts that are following the body?  Not just the body that has passed through and on, but the body that is still here, recovering slowly, dripping at the edges with wasted nutrition, now only absorbed by starry hemp pads.  How can I allow words to be written down and follow the body down the rabbit hole, where sadness and grief reside?  The body doesn’t know it.  The body is oblivious.  The body believes it has just given birth, whole and breathing, and now expects closeness of both bodies, closure of something that has been opened.  The mind follows this body, my body, that follows the scent of his body, still residing on my body.  The seams are popping at the edges, craving touch, wanting to hold what is no longer here, he with bright red lips and feet too big for his body.  The thoughts are confused, riding the roller coaster of emotions that come and go, and come again unexpected, like waves, like tsunamis, of tears, of sweat, of breast milk.  They don’t understand; reason cannot back them up.  There is nothing.  There is only a void that gets filled with visions no more exciting, not sufficient to keep the mind alert and active.  The drive for life has died along with him – my little hummingbird.

The uterus is closing, the pores are drying up, the body is slowly healing and shrinking to fulfill the space once occupied, to bring the space back to its original state, before the seed was planted.  The only miracle remaining open is the heart where emotions go and dwell.  This space of love painfully expands, stretches to dimensions not yet comprehended.  It beats, steadily, and in that beat, echoes and sounds reverberate that used to represent Life itself, growing and becoming.  Now that Life has passed on to a place that the mind with its thoughts cannot perceive as real, cannot digest as food, cannot rationalize within this body.  The body is human, it knows only of what it’s been programmed to understand.  There is a glitch in the system that seemed so perfect, that has kept me in awe over the past seven months.  It is a virus, contaminating thoughts which have no mind of their own, which follow the naivety of the body.  How can I think when all appears irrational?  How can I free my thoughts from the grips of error, in life, in the system, in the body?  How can I write?