Monday, January 14, 2008
After the Umbilical Cord
It's Monday night, which means that I just ate too much. The theme of Monday night dinners this evening was "country cooking". Daunting for me as I did not grow up in the antique kitchen where women rounded out biscuits, stirred succotash and shucked corn. I wasn't close to the one woman in my life most near me, and she wouldn't have called herself country anyway. And all this takes me in a completely different direction than where I was headed. But, I have learned that you follow the pen (or in this case the keyboard) or carry on with an uninteresting (at least to yourself) conversation. I watched my friend tonight with her mother...and I guess they have a good relationship. Not a "we're best friends and spend every hour on the phone" type relationship...but there is a gentle back and forth between them. I always wonder about mothers and daughters. Especially lately as one of my dearest friends prepares to give birth in another few months. My friend is the athlete. Ready to run up the side of a mountain in a single bound, ready to lift weights for hours. And she sometimes talks about her daughter (on the way) and how she wants to teach her to eat right, be healthy. I agree with this...completely. But, I also draw caution. I was born to a woman who wanted a cheerleader, someone popular with the boys, the yearbook's vote for best legs. Instead (and I believe that God plans it this way) she got me. And that meant a girl uninterested in cheerleading, or any type of leading really, a book worm who loved classical music, a big girl with bones that would never be a size 5, a brooding soul...because the world was always so complex to me. I have never been, even as I have sought it, a simple soul. And what happened was this...I don't see this woman. I don't claim a mother. And that probably sounds awful, but you don't know the full story. What I can say is this...it was necessary for me to save my own life from that woman who's womb carried me. And I may never understand the logistics of why it happened exactly the way that it did, but I do understand this...what we get in this world, what we build for ourselves...is exactly what we need. And what we have at the beginning gets us to that place of life construction. I could have been happy as a child, but I was not...and now, I do experience it. The freedom of not being judged about who I am inside, my soul...the things I cannot change, the parts that make me. I feel the freedom of choosing a "family" that will accept those things about me. Maybe not love them all the time, maybe even get pretty damn frustrated with me. But, they allow me to be here, not trying to take my voice or my thoughts or my life. And I don't know if I could have known this kind of freedom without knowing invasion. There is no peace without war. No love without hate. It all makes sense once in a while, and I try to write it down.