Month: February 2014
I’m stopped at a green light.
There is something maddening about being trapped here, in a mass deadlocked cars.
The light holding back the oncoming traffic shifts. Lanes heave and release cars and trucks and big rigs into the intersection.
And so begins my day.
I never thought I would ever be here, one in a trail of traffic tracing my route to work. I belong on empty back roads in states where the each person has square miles of their own. I belong on crystal clear rivers or powdery slopes.
Somehow, one small step after another led me here. Yet I feel more purpose here, in masses of cars and among millions of people, than I ever have before. Like somehow I shifted my grip on a bat and found my sweet spot.
These two parts of me seem in constant opposition, pulling me in two parts.
When I’m on those rivers and empty roads and powdery slopes, I feel alive and refreshed. And yet, at my job here I feel inspired and excited.
I wish I could have both.
And so here I am, stopped at a green light.
The complexity and mystery of pregnancy intrigues me. Baffles me.
I can’t understand it at all. Maybe it’s because I have never experienced it. Maybe it’s because it is wholly incomprehensible by any human brain.
It’s a Tuesday night and three of the four women in my living room are at various stages of pregnancy. I look at their blossoming bellies and try to imagine what it would be like. What it would be like to have a life growing inside me. What it would be like to confront the strange set of side effects. To feel movement and know that something in me was part of creating this life.
These are less questions of longing and more just sheer curiosity. And utter shock that it is possible.
The state that these woman in seems sweet and endearing. But the one that is to come terrifies me.
Birth by all accounts seems messy and painful and scary. And even as I say that I know that I don’t even know the fullness of that experience. As my friends who have experienced it describe the details, I am horrified.
“I felt like I was dying,” one of my friends says. “I literally thought ‘This is death.’ This was it.”
That sounds horrific. And yet women have been doing this for thousands of years in much worse conditions. I wonder what it feels like to be there. In some ways I never want to know. In others, I wish for it – someday, when the proper pieces are in place.
Somehow, because I don’t know, I feel strangely disconnected from my friends. I feel like I’m outside of a club they have all joined called “motherhood.” I am standing outside the room with my face pressed against the glass of the notion, eyes wide.
I am simultaneously envious and relieved.
I love my childless life for the moment. But maybe there is part of me that wants assurance I won’t always be.
If time was measured by the growth of my friends’ bellies and the births that follow, time in my world has stood still.
And that is the most disconcerting part.