Friday, December 16, 2011
It is a waning gibbous moon.
I am a waning gibbous woman. A humpbacked thing half of what I could be. The moon hangs over the tree line, bright and sure of itself. I am floating somewhere else, to the north, cold and unsure. It is day and you can still see me, even though I am a creature of the night these days. Don't let the list of things I do fool you.
I am on autopilot.
Bake cookies. Drive children. Drink coffee. Sweep floor. Make craft. Cuddle children. Wrap gifts. Send Christmas Cards. Chit chat with parents. Pick up girl. Answer email. Go to the market. Send text. Watch Miracle of 34th Street.
I pencil in crying.
Schedule a meltdown. Between pediatrician well-visit and lunch.
I don't know how to feel anymore.
It is the sad truth of my life that I can't quite figure it out these days. I feel happy and like a liar. I am in awe of nature. This morning, I walked out as the sun rose over the CVS at the end of our street. It is the most photographed strip mall sunrise in New Jersey. And the strange lighting, the still illuminated bright waning gibbous moon over the trees, make me feel silly for being all up in my deformed head, pointy and shadowed. See how I am a liar?
I want a mountain top.
Palms up and open.
Watching my breath drift out of my nose and my mouth.
I would soak in the sky until my belly puffed out with clouds and nothingness.
I eat the moon, and the solstice and the sky.
There is something pulsing behind my eyes. It is blood and love and moonlight. It is cold outside, but not December cold. The cold pushes against my eyes too. The unseasonable warmth pushes back. It has the feel of the first warm day of Spring. It is confusing my grief hormones.
I lie on the ground, my arms outstretched. The ground is wet and dry, and the points that touch the ground grow cold. Carrying three children within me marked my body, changed my person. I have crow's feet and side saddles, and large sagging breasts. My stomach muscles tore. I carry my weight like I am still carrying a child. My knees ache. My back spasms. My boob leaks milk. My skin's dull and pocked. My hair falls out.
My friend photographed my family last weekend.
My husband asked me how I like them. "They are all so gorgeous except for the ones with me. I look fat and scabby and sickly." There is nothing more attractive than self-loathing. His eyes go all glassy and he thinks that I am the most charming woman he has ever met.
"You are beautiful, mama." I turn and the girl is standing in the doorway. I am ashamed of my lack of confidence and constant focus on how ugly I am. I want something different for her.
Thank you, my angel.
She watches everything. She listens to everything. She soaks me in like the moonlight. Even if I am a waning gibbous moon, I am still bright to her. Sometimes I think my body beautiful in its transformation into the soft warm pile of mother earth flesh that folds on itself. She sees me differently than every other person in the world. And she makes me beautiful.