This week an old lover popped up on MySpace. *Snort* The word “lover” sounds so serious. I’m not the type to have had “lovers”. I mostly have just hooked up with nice enough partners or been a wife or wife-type figure. So, I usually call this dude a booty call in conversational Daisyspeak, or an ex-boyfriend if I want to appear to have been a decorous and virtuous girl who would refrain from odd, unattached, recurrent sex with interesting gypsie-like people. Or, here, I think I called him a satyr when I blurbed our brief hotness during all the sex posts.
So. I was surprised to see that he’s gained a lot of weight. He was boney-angular-I-cut-myself-on-his-hipbones skinny when we had our brief groove thing. Now he’s pretty chunky. I was really surprised, because his skinny body seemed very much part of my concept of who he was. Somehow that his body was trim and light, all cat-like and martial artsy, was part of the power I saw him as possessing. His willowy body was proof that he owned his body more than I owned mine- and fundamentally it seemed that his compact, thin body was superior to my loose softness. (It’s weird to compare body size with a male- I have never been so conscious about the weight disparity in spite of being with other skinnier guys. You know that thing where a woman will complain her guy is prettier than she is? It was like that maybe…)
It spurred a lot of thought about who I was then, and how I’ve grown like a star going supernova since then. My body is the same weight and size as it was then- with the new gift of an even softer belly with silver stretch marks. I am so much more in my body, though. I have an increasing sense of unity with it, a knowing that “I am it” rather than “I am in it.” I imagined having a partner with that sinewy taut body and thought how different it would be now, that it wouldn’t intimidate me. Of course, I am still unsatisfied with carrying more weight than I feel is comfortable. I sense that in a different way- as a health and spiritual goal more than some sort of flaw in my beauty or person. The whole musing was an examination of the relationship between weight and sexual power. I have decided that I’d love to feel an ever-increasing connection with my body’s motion. Need more workouts, more dancing, more sex. That’s what it’s about- moving the body, honing muscle and finding its harmony with bone and balance. The power we exude is in our confident motion, not in some pose in the mirror.
(It was a pleasant little stock-taking. Very nice to arrive at an idea that I’ve improved myself since that time when I was a mess of a girl. It wasn’t even so long ago. I reflected being with Bu most of the intervening years, how my energy with him is infinitely more me than it had been with the satyr. I thought about mom dying, and how that was an instantly, powerfully sobering experience. It was dizzying and nauseating to be flung so quickly into ones own future. It started a profound change deep within me that motherhood has completed. I wish this old gypsie friend well… he has also lost his mother and gotten married.)
Bird: *tweaks my nipple* Heheheeee!
Daisymama: No! No pinching.
Bird: Num-a-num! Heheheheheeee!
Daisymama: Wanna nursey?
Bird: *looks at me as if I’ve just stepped out of a spaceship* Hehehee, no…
Daisymama: Hmm. Is Boo suddenly too grown up for nummies?
Bird: *emphatic nod* Uh- HUH! Wah-yee?
Daisymama: Okaaaaay… *hands Bird sippy*
The thing with timing is…
Mid-August 2005, we decided we would start trying to conceive in nine or ten months. September 5? Pregnant. Start musing that I’ll think about starting to maybe try to wean after age two. Age 23 months? Sixth bedtime without nursing, second or, no… third day in a row with only early morning sleep-nursing.
It’s sudden, and I am caught off guard, but I have had the easiest, most fun and playful week with her since she was a quiet nine-hours-of-sleep-at-a-stretch six month old. What makes me sad is I don’t have a breathtaking serious nursing portrait. What I do have captures the reality though, with the quickly snapped, laughing candid photos and the hilarious ones of her trying to tear off my face. It’s a little sad that it’s starting to look like I’ll be half sleeping through our last breastfeedings. (Although it is amazing how adorable a nursing child is at 3:30 a.m. when that’s the only time she wants to nurse.)
I’m just sort of surprised with myself. I feel so happy and at peace with this, assuming it really is a weaning experience. And it makes me feel really confident that I’m going with my gut. Even breaking my own rule by a month maybe! Certainly violating the sacred dogma of the hardest hardcore boob nazis. And I’m OK with it all, even the good-natured ribbing at work from coworkers who zOMG at me about weaning before kindergarten/middle school/college:)
It’s really just… OK. Wow.
Often I’m having this feeling that my psyche is finally coalescing and settling in. I’m more comfortable in this existence, and I’m owning my mental and physical space more. I feel at home in my body, listening to its complaints and pleasures more, intuiting its rhythms and tides. I’m more assertive about my choices- like smiling and assuring an old friend that “No, Molly’s not too old to nurse,” and deciding to use my real name on mine and Alexis’ parenting blog. I’ve started to acknowledge and celebrate my birth defects in my art and writing, and I’m starting to think less compartmentally in my projects, if I may (apparently- according to spell check- invent a word.) What I mean here is that I have the zine idea and the Cafe Press thing and some other sorta diverse plans in mind, and I’m fighting the idea of creating a million different sites and stores and things. Part of me is scared crunchy parents don’t want to see snarky dark stuff, and potential logo clients don’t want to see a zine with my boobs and funky arm in, etc. However, if I want to build a business from my creativity, it is best to just let it all out there and let the synthesis that is my brain groove be what it is. Trying to divide myself is both stifling to the creativity and kind of insulting, really, to the potential customers.
I always had this vague sense that in my thirties I’d come into myself. Maybe with that idea actually created this feeling myself, or maybe I saw other women become more truly them in their thirties. Maybe 3 is just so laden with mystic energy that everyone has thirties epiphanes. (And I’ve always been pretty obsessed with psychological transformations. My very first webpage was titled “Metamorphosis Psyche.” Holy shit; it’s still live! Images & half the links are broken, but still. Behold my early twenties angst.)
I suspect, however, that giving birth at age 30 had a whole lot to do with this. Motherhood does a bang up job of turning a body and mind inside out. Today I’m kind of a glowy, floaty mom feeling like it’s a crazy beautiful gift and the sacred/mundane nature of it is blowing my mind.
(I seem to have gotten a whole lot more out of that mini-retreat than I initially thought. I got tipped over totally into the mystical part of me and I feel like my thinking and writing is 1,000 times more clear and true this weekend. I’m actually excited today to translate that into the drawing. My model session was a hoot, what with the two or three beers we drank and the fake baby and yoga mat covered in Dharma fur. I have several good variations on the pose to look at and I also figured out a little problem with the framing/printing.)
The meditation workshop was, shockingly, torturous. I thought a day of Buddhist mindfulness meditation would be like a tall, clear glass of water where my soul is a thirsty throat. Instead, I found it perfectly excruciating. My internal dialog was a constant barrage of “I suck at this,” and when I finally found some peace in there, it was when I stopped trying for body awareness and let myself flow with the eclectic intuitive techniques I use spontaneously when I meditate on my own. It’s vaguely like a hallucinogenic Tantric/Wiccan animated film with stream of consciousness poetry narration.
The insights I had were that my body is sorely, sadly neglected- my back and lungs are not even close to doing their jobs well. I can’t even approximate decent posture, and my breathing is pitifully erratic and shallow. I’ll never have a straight spine, but I can have a less burdened one. I also theorized that sitting meditation is artificial in the extreme; that the human body is patently unwilling to be still and quiet at the same time. I sat, still and reaching for an emptiness that would never come and longing for dance or Tai Chi or a sweaty, delicious fuck. The monk was sexy, I noticed eventually, from boredom.
It started to seem so unbelievably strange and affected and decadent almost to be human beings, sitting in a building and listening to the near-soundlessness of our own breathing. It struck me as pitiable and disturbing to be earth creatures with pulses and skin and bones and blood who have so throroughly and perfectly severed our own bodies that we have to struggle and be taught to exist peacefully “in” them.
I decided that guided meditations, or mantras and chants are far more suited to me as play for my tired brain. As for my body- sitting, which it does far more than could ever be considered healthy, is antithetical to a true celebration of physicality. Movement- the spiral dance my hips find by instinct when I let myself dance, or the pounding of my heels on pavement or the old mud path in the woods across from our property- is the key to finding home in my body. The monk can sit- he does it with grace and nobility- but I need to have moving hips and feet to find my connection to a body in time.
The day wasn’t a waste, though. I’m pleased with these insights, and the messages received from my crooked, chunky body. I’m happy I made time and followed through with a gift of good rich time for myself. I also ate a great cookie with lunch afterward.
I’m cross-posting this, with brief background information, to Wabi Sabi Mamas.
My model canceled for tomorrow. It’s annoying, and every day missed working on my print is a little extra stress, but it also frees my morning up. My church has a Buddhist meditation workshop in the morning. At least one of my Earthways people is going, and I really wanted to go and was really bummed to miss it for the model session.
So I’ll spend the morning tomorrow sinking into the quiet of myself and communing with others looking for some peace and focus.
I may have Bu shoot a couple of snapshots of me in the evening and see if I can use those for my drawings.
I have the whole thing completed in my mind and that’s making me feel both excited and worried. The worry is about being predictable and churning out a piece that is old school me and doesn’t reflect any growth since my last work-work. And then there is a voice in me laughing at myself making all this fuss about a freaking digital collage.
“It’s just art.” An artist I know said that to me one time, and I think I looked at her like she was from another planet. Art is The Big Fucking Thing- the calling, the definition of me, the standard, the end all be all of existence by which I judge myself- and when I say “judge myself”, think of Paul Bettany in The Da Vinci Code with the self flagellating. I don’t know why it’s such a huge thing to me to be a serious fine artist, but it is. And it isn’t. Some part of me thinks I should be content to make cool designs and websites and greeting cards and T-shirts. Then the part of me that is holding onto all those philosophy and art theory textbooks and wigs out about this little show freaks out and think I’m selling myself short being a graphic artist when I have Very Big, Capitalized Ideas.
So yeah? Buddhist meditation nao plz? Shut up my brain so I can make something creative and enjoy it.
I was in the ninth circle of gastroinstestinal hell this weekend. Dinner Friday was a (really amazingly delish) cheesy pizza, half a pan of Krispy treats, and two cheap beers. Breakfast the following morning killed me. The grandies made omelets and biscuits and breakfast rice (do y’all eat that outside WV? It’s rice with milk, vanilla, and 100 pounds of white sugar.) I ate enough for three people. Then I didn’t shit for two days, and barely ate because I felt that horrible stuffed feeling the whole weekend. I could not digest that freaking breakfast. Yesterday I felt so sick. So I finally pooped after laxative intervention and it was heavenly and I have mostly consumed smoothies for two days.
I feel like the binge drinker who has the hangover from hell and swears off booze until next weekend, but I really have been feeling like hell when I eat white flour and dairy stuff. I eat this heavy junk and I feel so sluggish and gunked up I can’t stand myself. I’m annoyed at the inconvenience of my insight- it sucks to have to put so much goddamn effort into nutrition when my grocery stores and family make it so much easier to just dump processed calories into my gut and call it good if there’s no actual meat going in.
I have this thing. I have huge grandiose ideas. I am going to Revamp My Life, and also Change the World. Oh, wait… that requires effort? Mmm. Er, oh. Sheeessss. Nevermind.
This thing I have? Laziness. It’s annoying to admit that. I want to have some complex and interesting thing going on, or some like… psychological diagnosis. Some excuse, actually.
But no. I’m just fucking lazy.
Groovy: Zen Habits has a guest post up about the Albert Ellis techniques I was talking about the other day. (The Rational Emotive Behavioral stuff.) This is a Sure Sign from The Universe, via synchronicity, that it must be truly awesome.
Post author is Urban Monk, whose own blog looks very cool, too. I am becoming a self-improvement junkie. This is the same as a self-help junkie only 1) we use slightly newer buzzwords, and 2) we hang out on blogs about home organization and productivity and spiritual growth instead of in bookstores in the self-help aisle. We may be frightfully similar in that we tend to spend too much time reading about improvements and too little time making them:)