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Writers workshop~~week 3 Apr 8th

1034 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  leahida
This week the focus is on the time leading to the upcoming birth. I'm just going to put up a few words or prompts to help get you started (maybe) Be creative, choose your own prompt if you need to.

Rising sap
Body pillows
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Hmm, nihilistic stream-of-consciousness?

I'm reminded of those exercises from grade school: pretend you are a tree growing up and spreading your leaves. It seems so far from where I am now. I guess I identify more with the earth mother, who invented birth, who supported herself, who took care of it all, alone.

I can feel the power growing, but the greater my belly, the lonelier I am. I miss the things I've never had: communal living, the close extended family. Not that I would ever tolerate that. My preparations are abreviated by circumstance and I realize how transient life is. I have nothing, nothing to offer, nothing to take, nothing to give. Except for me.

But how do you give of yourself when you don't believe in yourself? How do you teach self worth when your own is a mask of social propriety? How do you create a worthy human being when you don't believe in the worthiness of others to you, or of you to others? How do you share the joys when you so often hide them from yourself?

Apples and oranges, but there's only one orange and soon there will be another (but is it an apple or an orange). Why does the orange care about how the apples see it? Why is worth measured by what others take away?

Survival is not about living, it is about crawling forward, inch by inch. The world has too many souls to give you another inch.

I hug myself, my belly, my boy. Sing the songs of survival, but don't mean them. I'm not a survivor. Despite all, I choose to live; despite all, I will give you life and all the joys of my soul.

This is the nectar I offer.
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In the last days of my pregnancy, I became an amphibian, or maybe more of a sea creature, preferring water over land. I wanted to remember what it was like to live in water, in my mother's womb. I heard somewhere that amniotic fluid is similar in content to the waters of the ocean.

On the day I went into labor, I dragged my heavy pregnant self to the pool, self-conscious in a too-tight swimsuit, and immersed myself in its warm chlorine depths. My body slid through the water in a straight line, back and forth, hand over hand, legs kicking, breath pounding in my lungs, heart hammering in my chest. My awareness of the passage of time dissolved. As I swam, I said Buddhist phrases of loving-kindness for the baby:

May you be safe and protected from harm. May you be happy and peaceful. May you be healthy and strong. May you live with ease.

The phrases repeated over and over in my mind, with a dull knowledge thudding in the background: despite all my prayers, my child will know pain.

I wished I could breathe underwater, like my baby. I wished I had no need for air or tears. I was jealous of the safety he knew in my womb, wanting back in a womb myself. I pitied my baby for the pain he would experience at the moment of his birth: when he would cease to be a water being and become a creature of the land. I mourned my own abrupt entry into this world of fleeting joys and sorrows, this world of craving and never-satisfied desires.

Later that day, my labor started with water breaking, a warm salty trickle running down my leg. I was not entirely surprised.
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