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September 05, 2005

The two of us

There are two of me.

One is the me of mornings and days. 

She’s grown a deep sense of peace with the world, with her place in it, with letting life be what it is.  People what they are. 

She’s patient.  She doesn’t need to understand everything.  She sits in soft sunlight and watches insects crawl, feeling wind against her face and warmth seeping through her clothes toward skin.  She calls this prayer.

She lives gently.  Her hands are mostly open, receiving life, giving back gratitude.  When they’re closed they’re wrapped around skillets, scrubbers, steering wheel, friends, husband, baby, keyboard.  The day-to-day.  But none of it’s a grasping.

The other me is the me of nighttime.  She’s the me of twilight, of late afternoon when the sun turns everything orange.  Her soul’s untamed.

It’s the me of firelight and candlelight.  Of moonlight.  Of visions and dreams and knowings.  To her the world’s a love affair. 

The same ache for sexual union is the ache she feels to live, to experience life ever more deeply, to eat it slowly or ravenously up, tasting it the whole way down.  She aches with the beauty of nature, of people, of the presence of Mystery.  She sees tragedy and comedy as necessary counterparts, and wants to run toward both, dive headlong into both, participate in the making and unmaking of them.

And she wants to write about all of it, the beauty and the horror.  All the things that make us crazy and sane.  She wants to put words to it all, though she knows she can’t, and that trying only fans her ache into sparking flame.

When words don’t work, she tastes things like chocolate, wine, deviled eggs, ice cream; she tastes them, and, eyes closed, says, “This.  This.”  Drums beating, too.  Many kinds of music.  Wind through pine-dense forests.  Majestic skies.  This,” she says.  The feeling that God is dead.  The sense that S/he’s not.  Dark nights that last forever.  New Orleans.


During the night last night – two?  maybe three o’clock? – I sat with my nursing baby, aching in this second me.  The world outside was still, but my soul was reaching out and in, yearning for something.  For what?  For God?  For Mystery?  I wanted to take something in, do something more, write something beautiful, feel, speak, organize.  But what?  My soul stood naked on a moonlit hilltop, arms outstretched, head tilted starward, mouth wide open to a wind that whipped at every goosebumped limb. The energy was intoxicating, but filled, apart from wind, with so much silence, so much stillness, so much gentle, moon-defused light.  Hardly satisfying, given my yearning.  I’m at a point in life when my ache, the ache of this second me, is far stronger than my action.  I hope that’s soon to change.

And then I slept and the sun came up and I sat again in my rocker, the other me, the living-gently one, fully back.  She watched light streaming through windows and bounced the burpy baby and felt, even in the knowledge of so much yuck in the world, nearly perfectly at peace.  She shook her head at that nighttime soul, and nestled calmly into a new day.

07:35 PM in Mindfulness, Motherhood, Psychology, Religion/Spirituality | Permalink


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oh the depth and the clarity you are still writing with - i'm not worthy! i couldn't rub two thoughts together during this postpartum time. i love the distinction you make between the two. beautiful post kristin.

Posted by: bobbie | Sep 7, 2005 4:54:47 AM

Wow. So beautifully written.

Posted by: Fran | Sep 8, 2005 10:08:26 PM

This is one of the best things I have read in a long time. Thanks for sharing these beautiful thoughts.

Posted by: Heather | Sep 9, 2005 7:53:07 AM

Thank you all. Bobbie, I so expected to feel exhausted and fuzzy-headed during these weeks...but come to find out, I felt about ten times more exhausted and fuzzy headed while I was pregnant! Seriously. I would start a paragraph (verbally) and by the end of the first sentence, forget what it was I was trying to say. Maybe I had such a heavy dose of that then, that now I get to have it much easier. Whatever the reason, I'm so not complaining! :)

Posted by: Kristin | Sep 16, 2005 10:52:08 AM

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