there is a little trapeze artist inside of my belly
or a boxer
or a trampoliner
or a spelunker
or someone who's knitting
or playing the tamborine
or kneading bread
all, of course, inside of a pool
with its curious slow-motion
buffered movement and, I imagine,
great transmission of sounds
Banjo likes it when I read to him and last evening, in my evening bath, he really liked it when tim came in and visited for a while, his deeper voice echoing and carving out shapes in the quiet and the water.
Don't let anyone tell you that pregnancy isn't fun. That's a rumor I've heard going around lately in my neck of the woods.
Every experience you have is what you make of it.
(Sometimes I even take my own advice.)
Elsewise, we're enjoying the fun of cleaning and arranging our house to rent, going for walks in the cold-these-days woods, making blueberry pancakes at odd times. I'm enjoying greatly these last couple of months with my beloved familiar local library, and have just a few works to frame this week for a nearby show.
I often read before bed. Sometimes for far too long. But sometimes, if I'm in the mood, I choose to put the book down and go to sleep when the the main character does. (As at some point they always do.)
Then in the morning I can read a few pages when we've both awoken again.
Organizing the studio, the garden, the basement, the house in general. Plastering, painting, spackling ~ in general getting an idea of what needs to be done before we rent the place out. It feels so good to get those things done. When we were house-hunting we'd often hear owners say, Why did I wait so long to do all these things, only to move? I don't feel quite like that, just like we're cleaning up in a marvelously tidy way as we go.
I am so ready for all of this. Tim uses the word nesting about 4 times a day to describe me. But it's more like un-nesting. I think I'm about to fledge.
Overhead the hawks and crows and sparrows fly by with twigs in their beaks. They know it's time for them, too.
If the house was somewhat empty at first it filled soon enough with treasures I found out on the Far Beach: a large, smooth round stone with a hole worn in its center from the tides; dozens of whelk shells that I placed on windowsills and heaped in bowls; a beautiful three-foot curve of grained driftwood, and dried grasses that I hung from the rafters along with onions and herbs. One day I plucked from the shore out by the lighthouse a delicate wild plant that the wind had sealed to the ground and shaped like a fan; I brought it home and hung it on a wall and it was as lovely as any painting.
- dorothy gilman, a new kind of country
Just thought I'd share those few sentences. I love when an author says things I just get. It's one of the best feelings and it's why I keep searching for 'those' books ~ I know there are many more as yet unfound.
on the plane all shots 35mm film, canon camera, 2005
From one of our first trips together. We flew into san francisco in 2005 for a long weekend, which felt like it lasted much longer. Camping on the beach, exploring the redwoods, hosteling in the city, walking along black sands in the sun.
We'll be together again in california a month from today, with banjo too.
I'm thinking of taking only film cameras this time as well.
I have the fullness which comes from a satisfying day of cleaning out those crooked corners into which things fall and become invisible over the years. The house feels so good now. More to do tomorrow.
We planted spinach seeds this week.
A single white candle burns on the table. The cat snores.
Head-down, banjo moves my belly like a whale in an ocean swell.
sky over the backyard spectra camera, polaroid expired film
We have been taking such long walks recently ~ long meandering walks into town, down streets of old houses with stone walls and slate roofs. Our last walks in our neighborhood in this last month of living here. I am so happy to enjoy it. The hawk that is always there with white and soft pointed wings, floating behind the trees. The dogs in their backpacks which draw many comments and questions from friendly passersby. The mourning dove's hoots which I pretend are owls'. The familiar favorite trees and hidden nooks; the robins soaring low over the sidewalks by the dozens. Reaching the shop with my favorite sandwich or the cafe with coffee for tim, then turning homewards. When your legs pace over land it is yours in a way, no matter who owns it. Moving slowly enough to take in the new sights, the unexpected sounds, the humorous situations. Leisurely, talking and listening of a hundred things the whole way, reaching our street again, step by step.
Just about 25 weeks and the belly grows, it feels like, overnight! I have so much great stuff going on; life seems so full and rich and happy and right. I am so easily thrown awry by things off-balance that I don't know whether to let go and soak it all up and dream, or be careful and prepare for letdown.
This mind of mine. It can really drive me nuts.
I've been marinating in long, long discussions about everything meaty and meaningful with girlfriends who just had babies, or ones who are moving as well, or expecting, and ones who are going on just happy and curious about living. I am also really resonating with this post so much, so if you have a minute, stop by and read her words. It's so perfectly expressed, and so meaningful to me at this time as I keep touch with friends old and new.
Every loaf of bread I make is better than the last, no matter how they come out, it seems! There's something about homemade bread that is timeless, nourishing in the deepest way, and so, so simple. I feel like I post about bread often, but it is so much fun, so delicious and easy. It has a great feel in my hands, heavy like handknits ~ and the baking scent is heaven. One of the home tasks I don't mind doing over and over. Tonight I plan on making mozzarella, tomato, and pesto sandwiches out of this. Pure summertime. Food. It's so good.
Aaaaaaand...big news. I've been sitting on this one for a little bit, waiting to see if it would pan out. It seems it will ~ we've found our house! Right after this post, just a week ago, we found our place. The very first place we looked at after the other house fell completely and rottenly through. We looked at a few other places afterwards just for good measure but all they did was show Chez Banjo (thanks for the name, maya!) in a brighter light. Right now we're in the throes of paperwork, but things look good and the path is clear. It'll be ours next month! I cannot wait to get in there and settle down and feather my nest.
(I feel a little wary to be so happy.)
My favorite things about the land are the huge, smooth, lichen-covered boulders which burst from the earth like whales.
The trees which lead back farther than the eye can discern.
My poppop and I have been writing letters back and forth for a while now (he's 91) and I asked him about some of the trips he and gramom Elly had done. True to form, he sent me a photo album in the mail. This is one of my favorite pictures that he took of gramom, in california looking over the big sur coast.
Tim and I fly into southern california next month for a week's adventure before the baby arrives. We have so much going on nowadays that it's fun to have that time to look forward to, knowing that we can just take a clean break for a little bit and get a breather. As of yet we have no plans. Do you have any recommendations for camping or parks to visit in the south there? Tim would really like to visit san diego and we know nothing about the area. I'd love to know some of the special spots.
This morning, after tossing and turning for an hour or more before sunrise, adjusting the belly with pillows, the cat curled on my hip, I finally heard the birdsong and turned to see tim's eyes sparkling into mine.
We got up and went to the diner for belgian waffles and omelets at 6:30.
One of the things I love about time passing, about growing older, is how my mind unfolds like infinite inverted origami. A few weeks pass, or a year, or a decade, and I look back at the experiences and see how my perspective has shifted like a kaleidoscope. One of the things I did in my twenties, when I was gaining my art degree, living abroad, traveling, and exploring my boundaries, was to periodically stop and tell my future self, 'I am here because I choose to be. I will remember this in the years to come and I will not regret any of my experiences.'
I have always remembered that, and trusted that in all of my experiences I was making the best choices I could for myself at those moments. Who she was was the blueprint for who I am, just as who I now am is the forerunner of who I will be. I trust my future self as well. I don't have to know everything right now. I don't have to have everything figured out, or all my loose ends tied up. I can trust that my future self will learn what she needs to know, that things will come into her path that aren't in my vision now, and that she will be blessed.
I'm 23 weeks along now. Less than 4 months left. In the past 5.5 months, baby banjo has grown to weigh over a pound. In the next four weeks, he'll double in weight again. I went through a meatball phase, a pickle phase, a mango phase, a miso-soup-and-seaweed phase, a grapefruit phase, and a peanut butter phase. (One might observe that I may still be in the peanut butter phase.) I wouldn't exactly call them cravings, just a reasonable idea that such-and-such food would be delicious and I would probably be very happy if I could eat it. Every day for a few weeks, maybe. It didn't seem out of the ordinary.
I would say that when pregnant, for me, food is delightful though difficult to figure out and there is nothing better than being ravenous and then figuring out the exact thing I want to eat, and eating it. It is pure pleasure for the stomach. One of the things on our 20-week ultrasound which astounded me was the ivory puzzle of banjo's spine, and how all the random foods I had happily put into my mouth, like yogurt, glasses of milk, brocolli and almonds, had intricately transformed themselves into his perfect tiny bones.
(Might I add that, even though we know he's a boy now, do you think picking a name would come more easily? Nope, jury's still out on that one. It's all right. We have time. And a list.)
There is a lot of advice out there for pregnancy. Online, in books, and in the mouths of relatives, friends and strangers. I absorb what I feel drawn to, and let go what I don't. I try to remember that tim and I are making the choices that are right for our family, we reserve the right to change our minds, and that I don't need to convince anyone else or explain our decisions.
Even though I want to.
Tim is a lot more laidback about things than I am.
I wish I was a more peaceful person.
Sometimes it can be frustrating being pregnant. It is a different rhythm. One which my mind has not quite adjusted to yet. It still wants to rush, to push, to accomplish, to delve deep into the cares of the world and to fight for a proper place in it. Whereas, my body is asking me to slow down, to calm down, and to let things go. To let go of some of our things, our plans. Sometimes I feel like a slacker.
Just because a body begins to grow a child doesn't mean that everything in the mind falls into line with that right away. Here I am, with everything ready, an accomplished fact which was a chosen action, and I'm still working on the balance of it. How do women do it the world over? The ones without a choice? Or a partner? Or a home?
For me, now, there is a dog to walk, a sunset to watch, a fire to build, laundry to fold, cookies to eat, a baby to laugh at while he kicks.