Elbow Room

i couldn’t get back to sleep in the wee hours of saturday morning. i had gotten up to pee for the third time, done in by the mason jar of water i drink each night to keep up my milk supply. fern had just gone back to sleep after nursing for an hour while i held her in an upright position, shoving a pillow between my head and the wall, fading in and out of twilight. fern’s sleep schedule has been really…what’s the word here…non-existant? bad? erratic? needy? wakeful? she sleeps for about three hours in the first part of the night, and then wakes every hour to hour and a 1/2 to nurse…and she nurses for 20 minutes to 2 hours at a time. so that means i’ve been getting…how much sleep? i honestly can’t say. after waking in the morning i am aware that my mind has not rested, having run around in circles for hours in early r.e.m. sleep. i start the day with the feeling that you get (if you are an introvert) after someone has been talking at you, far beyond your capacity to sustain interest.

so i lay there in bed, and had these thoughts, thoughts untempered by the rationale employed in daytime, looming large;

i feel like my body has been hijacked for the last year and 1/2.

and even when fern is done nursing, then my partner is going to want a bigger piece of me. there will be more  snuggling at night, i’ll have wait to disentangle myself after he’s fallen asleep. i won’t ever get space.

what i really need is to go live in a cave. by myself. a cave really really far away.

like in siberia. or the himalayas.

although i think it’s cold there.

so living in a cave won’t work. i’m doomed.

i guess i’m just tired, and it’s normal to need space.

and it probably doesn’t help that i haven’t seen the sun in 8 days.

in the daytime, i do what i can to sustain myself, to give myself nurturance. i turn my mind and heart from a trajectory that propels away from me, from my daughter, from my dog, from my partner, from my life, from my bills and the notices with worry in the envelopes…and i bring it back to the moment, taking a seat in my heartboat, watching the waves, washing through the waves, bobbing up and down, letting invisible flames rise up. i let each emotion speak its tune in a volume that echoes only through my bones, ah grief, ah longing, ah dissatisfaction, ah weariness, disappointment, heartbreak, anger…so you have something to say again do you? and a gift of tears too? you are small children you say? and i had turned away from you? so scary, i’m sorry. i’m here now. it’s not so bad. wait until the stillness comes….there…do you see the joyous sunrise?

here are some visions from our weekend:

friday night, jeff and i went out to dinner for the first time in months. we went to "pi bar" in the mission...fantastic pizza, great beer, old hipsters and their children, and no pretension allowed. we ordered polenta fries as an appetizer. fern was as excited as we were.
saturday we braved the ugly fog and went to speedway meadow for the bicycle music festival. pedal powered sound system, and all equipment transported via cycle. we got there just in time for the main act...
sean hayes played in the afternoon, what a treat!! you can see two of the bicycles and part of the sound system. there were 5-7 bicycles powering the system. people on the bikes were so gleeful. it's empowering to create electricity through your own effort
jeff is tired too.
saturday night there was a movie party in the page street garden (right next door). we watched vintage shorts, from antique shadow puppetry, to experimental film from the 1920s, to educational bits from the 70s on the sun and moon. (remember those little individual projectors in the library as a kid, that you loaded the movie into, and listened with giant headphones...that kind of film.)
music for the lettuces

20-30 people showed up for the movies, and beforehand we had a potluck. we got to chatting with two of the women who were hosting. we were exchanging the “so where are you from” part of polite conversation, when after i had said “from outside of redding”, the woman across from me said, “I’M from outside of redding.” turns out she grew up right down the road from me, not 3 miles away. we both went to the same elementary school and had some of the same teachers, but she was starting kindergarten right when i was graduating 8th grade.

we had put fern to sleep, but she woke up right before the films started. she sat on my lap, watching, squealing, and playing with a flashlight. fun times, staying up late.
sunday we went to the renegade craft fair at fort mason. we did a photo-op with the mascot. renegade used to truly be just that. but now, with booth rental at over $500, it's only renegade if you can buy your revolution. crafters i had purchased from last year had doubled their prices. we won't be going back next year, instead will go to the more down home indie mart in the mission.
hoot hoot!

Instructions for Living a Life:
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.

–Mary Oliver

have a good week!


3 thoughts on “Elbow Room

  1. i read this a while ago and i just wanted to let you know i’ve thought about it a few times. and when i read it the first time, i loved loved LOVED how honest you allowed yourself to be. and i have felt that exact same way. Exact! many times. it is so freeing to just say it. how. it. is. and then move on, cuz what else can we do? obviously not sleep! or get our space everytime we want it. love.

    1. much love heather…i was being a little more raw based on our previous conversation and your recommendation to just say it, approval ratings or not ;). it’s true. you just allow and let go and remarkably the next moment comes and the next and the next and while the squeeze doesn’t go away, being with it vs. resisting does keep things moving and fresh.

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