Between the Shadow and the Soul

I thought today would go a lot smoother.  Actually I forgot about it until this morning. Then it hit me.  And stuck with me all day.  Creeping on the edges of my brain, keeping me on the verge of a panic all day.  The due date for Elizabeth (my daughter named her, and since it’s my late Nana’s name I certainly had no objections) didn’t hit me as hard. I don’t know why. Maybe because they’re piling up? Maybe because I know there is another “due day” to come- where nothing is due but disappointment, emptiness and grief?  Maybe because there are babies due all around me, all around my date.  Will I be able to look at them and not think of mine?  Half the time I feel like screaming.  Telling them all.  But tell them what? That my ghost of a child would be here too?  It’s insane.  This one didn’t last long enough to garner a name, and for that I feel awful as well.  She’s a whisper. A glimmer.  Hope. Her name is Hope.

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep. 

-Pablo Neruda

 

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3 Little Birds

 

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                It’s May 22nd and my second due date of the 30th is creeping closer and closer.  My son’s ashes still sit in the corner of our living room, innocuous to anyone who happens to come by, still sitting in their navy gift bag. 

               Spring is in full bloom, and everywhere  you look women are pregnant, or announcing pregnancies or about to pop.   It’s a strange wave of emotions as each one comes by, happiness and excitement for them, sadness for me.  Half the time now I’m not even sure I want to have another baby. Or I’m convincing myself I don’t.  Maybe it isn’t meant to be or maybe just not now.

            While waiting for info about our son one day Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” popped into my head.  I played it repeatedly and sang it over and over.  I didn’t know it for sure then but baby number three wasn’t destined to make it either.  I couldn’t have picked a more fitting song.  I now wear a beautiful necklace that Stephanie Bogetti created for me.  My three little birds all in a line, birth dates engraved on the back.  It’s not to be melancholy or to dwell on what was lost but as a sweet reminder that yes, everything will be alright.

 

Don’t worry about a thing
‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright
Singing’ don’t worry about a thing
‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright