Protected: my piccolos August 30, 2011
“A Founding” Margaret Atwood August 29, 2011
He left himself on my doorstep,
abandoned in the shabby
basket of his own ribs.
My heart wept custard:
I took him in.
Warmed in the kitchen,
he swelled, absorbing.
He will not leave,
I am afraid to move him.
What if I should feed him?
He never talks. He sits
in the middle of the kitchen floor
staring at the bright scars
traced on his body, fascinated.
I thought that they were notched
on him by pain
but now I see
that they are only the coloured pictures
of places he once
lived, and thinks
that no-one else has ever been.
body image issues again, no surprise. my body didnt quite heal after cordelia before it started all over again. i have been pregnant for 18 out of 24 months, if you sped that up you would see me balloon out, then droop, then balloon out and suddenly droop again in quick succession. my body has not changed this fast since puberty, and it took me years to catch up from that one. i remembered how i promptly stopped modeling, having decided that they wouldnt want me anymore. then i got angry with myself for ever modeling in the first place, as i was using that to confirm that other people found me attractive, and now they wouldnt. how could anybody anymore? i stopped swimming. i avoided mirrors. for a while i stopped letting jim touch me. i got mad at cordelia for ruining my body.
and i didnt really get better from that, and now its started over again. i’m not as mad at blaze as i was with cordelia, but i feel like its easier this time – which means im fighting it off less. its just ruined, accept that, theres no going back. you’ve moved to a lower class of person now, you have become undesirable way before you ever thought you could. a step down that you have to take as a trade-in for being a mother now. i see so many mothers doing it. every woman switches to that one-piece swimsuit, having lost the elasticity of their pre-baby body. i dont know who taught us that was something we had to do, that now we needed to hide, but they need a good kicking. i feel like every woman has followed this stupid rule so dutifully and unquestioningly that nobody has ever raised enough fuss to make us wake up and realize that we don’t need to do it anymore. it shouldnt be painful like this. i shouldnt have been taught that, neither should any of you.
and i dont want to contribute to teaching other women either – i dont want that one-piece swimsuit. but i dont feel like i could bring myself to swim again anyway, so i’m really no better than a one-piece swimsuit either.
im thinking that i might like the lines of that last stanza tattooed between my stretch marks so i can remember that i want out of this female oppression game. you hear that? im not playing anymore, i can only loose and its never been fun anyway.
that owl is almost done, and im almost happy with it. shes white, bright aqua, pale blue, dark blue, indigo, dark purple. theres just some feathers down the left side and then the “you are the only person in the world whos awake” sky.
thanks rachel! August 24, 2011
i emailed the woman who made our rings, rachel pfeffer, and sent her a photo from the wedding showcasing two of her lovely pieces of jewlery – our wedding bands. she seemed genuinely pleased that i would remember to get back to her with a photo of the rings together. she asked my permission and then stuck the photo on her website – which is pretty cool.
owls August 20, 2011
i’ve had owls in my head for a few days now. heathers owl is a barn owl but shes (yes, it stuck in my head as a female and that was that) morning glory coloured. i think if she wasn’t blue, indigo and purple, she would be a black barn owl instead of a cream-and-buff one anyway. shes perched on an old stump around that pale grey-lilac time of dawn, you know that time when you’re convinced that theres nobody else awake in the entire world except for you. there might be some henna patterns involved later, twisting down one side of the canvas, but i don’t know for sure yet.
i need to tell you about her hair August 18, 2011
it is the best hair ever. its the best hair i have ever known, on anybody (except for cordelia when she was this tiny too. yes, i am biased). its downy-soft, thick and fluffy and so dark its almost black. the first thing i saw of her was that dark hair in the mirror very briefly before i had to look at the wall and squeeze my eyes shut and focus instead. then when she slid out and i could open my eyes again i cried and kissed that damp hair all over.
her hair still smells like amniotic fluid which causes nice chemistry in my brain and makes me love her with an instinctive protective, mothering passion. and shes so tiny. everything about her fits so neatly – her ribs fit my fingers, her bum i can cup in one hand, the length of her body fits along the length of my arm while shes nursing like this was all planned. her head nestles comfortably in my palms, she can sleep on my chest, fitting right between my breasts, with her legs tucked up like a tiny buddha and her head up under my chin. like i was measured out first and then she was built to size to slide into my hollow places perfectly, which is really what happened.
i feel confused as to how to love two daughters. i feared that love would divide between the two girls, but maybe it multiples.
from pumpkin to dairy cow. August 16, 2011
there is no pain like an over-filled udder.
tiny blaze has a tiny stomach, which only needs a tiny amount of milk to fill it. in the meantime, i am backlogging all the milk as my body continues to output and store much more than is needed. my milk glands, hard and full, are creeping up under my arm, packing it into any available space. it hurts to lift my arms above my head. it hurts to lay on my side. it hurts to wear a bra, it hurts to not wear a bra, hurts to be touched. in the back of my head i am aware that i dont want to eat anything, knowing that eating contributes to the manufacture of milk.
i am so engorged that blaze has a hard time latching on since theres no stretch or give to my breasts right now. then theres such a flood of letdown that she doesnt need to suck, she just waits until her mouth is full and then swallows. i remember cordelia used to have to gulp frantically to keep up and get quite frustrated.
the cruel joke is that if i were to express some milk myself to bring the pressure down it would only act as a stimulant to produce more milk as my body would think ‘okay the baby is feeding more, we need to up the production!’ so i just have to bear with it. if i dont express it, i run the risk of it basically going bad where it is, blocking everything up and causing a great deal of pain and swelling. im thinking of fennel a lot recently, since she was the most recent animal that i’ve seen who was also lactating. im thinking of fennel as a sort of comrade – “yeah, we’ve been there, you and i.” i wonder if i could fill a mason jar too.
im wondering now if it was a good idea to wean cordelia, i could count on her to bring this pressure down. maybe i’ll make a bottle and give it to her.
“What about using cabbage leaves to treat engorgement. So far, controlled studies have shown no benefit to this treatment over the standard treatments listed above. Yet some mothers find this works very well–and it’s easier than trying to balance ice packs on your chest. Use clean, chilled cabbage leaves. Make a hole for the nipple and tuck them into your bra for twenty to thirty minutes. Repeat two or three times a day until engorgement is relieved.”
i really hope that somebody in the market has a cabbage this week.