Thursday, September 13, 2007

Circling the drain?

Eh. Not so much. Lest anyone think I'm on my literal last legs, let me 'splain.

Q's been sleeping worse and worse since the weekend, getting up this morning at 5 after going down at about 12:15. The night before wasn't much better, so this knocks me back a bit. But hey, lucky me, I discovered that even at odd hours of the night, the boy likes his Baby Einstein singing caterpillar and I can sleep with my head right next to the blinky singing thing that's keeping him from crying. Yes indeed, I can sleep for a whole twenty minutes with the racket and wake up only when his noises go from happy to not so happy. All this culminated in a rushed trip to the pediatrician (is there any other kind these days?) with a silly molar that wanted to be noticed or something. It looked like nothing I've ever seen before, but apparently even with swelling that made me think that for sure the thing had to be abscessed, the nice doc has seen much worse. EEE-ew. It's smaller now, whatever it was, so at least there's that.

Also, I've been reading more out of Wild at Heart. Why now, you say. It's a book for men, you say. No guy anywhere in your life, you say. Well, the whole subject of human nature fascinates me and this book in particular resonates. Plus, Eldredge writes rather than pontificating. Always a good thing, that. This part is what I was looking at most recently:

"Every woman can tell you about her wound; some came with violence, others came with neglect. Just as every little boy is asking one question, every little girl is, as well. But her question isn't so much about her strength. No, the deep cry of a little girl's heart is am I lovely? Every woman needs to know that she is exquisite and exotic and chosen. This is core to her identity, the way she bears the image of God. Will you pursue me? Do you delight in me? Will you fight for me? And like every little boy, she has taken a wound as well. The wound strikes right at the core of her heart of beauty and leaves a devastating message with it: No. You're not beautiful and no one will really fight for you."

So if you're female, you may be familiar with the messages that we wrestle with about being worthy, pretty, acceptable. The tapes we hear in our heads range from odd to bizarre to outright self-hatred. Sometimes we don't even realize we have them playing, they're so entrenched. Every one of us has some issue in this regard, but mine (relatively benign) spent years receding, thanks in no small part to reinforcement from a very kind, very beloved, and (I believe) a completely sincere person. Without heading any further down this path, which will inevitably lead me to feel as though I've managed to somehow, in full view of thousands, flip my skirt up over my head (what are the odds of that?!), let's just say that the voices in my head don't feel very friendly of late. I had no idea that nonsense was still hanging out in there, but voila! There it is, and then some.

At least I still have some sense of humor, I suppose. Some other time I'll write about how hearing people cut themselves down for their (perceived) imperfections makes me wince, like a psychic blow has been dealt, or how I so wish that we, us lovely, precious women, would look at ourselves in love, with appreciation, as our lovers truly do, instead of with criticism, as if we've nothing better to do than invite that sort of negativity into our lives as we would an honored dinner guest. Maybe I'll even get around to quoting from one of my other favorite books of late: Woman: an Intimate Geography. Like this part: (she's comparing sizes of various male and female primates)

"I'm not saying this simply to have fun with numbers (although I am having fun with numbers, and as a fairly small woman it's heartening to think of myself as an impressively large female primate.) What I am doing is offering grist for for the argument that women need muscle mass more than men do, and that while nature has given us a nudge in a more monumental direction, we must take the hint and make the most of our long-lived vessel. We need muscle for practical reasons, and we need it for the mind's I, the uncertain self, and in both cases we need it now more than ever."

Or this:

"Being strong won't make you happy or fulfilled, but it's better to be sullen and strong than sullen and weak."

Not that the book is about muscle, it's not. But I digress. Regress. Whatever. As she says:

"Physical strength is but one allele of strength. There are all the other strengths: of self-conviction, of purpose, of being comfortable in your designated plasm. I don't know if physical strength can enhance those other, intangible strengths, if a better braced body can give one ovarios of heart. It's a good gimmick though, a place to start, or to return to when all else fails."

As I said, not about muscle, but the chapter is titled Cheap Meat. (chortle) As much as I'm enjoying these books, they may be the only ones that I read this year. Besides the ones I'm doing with the kids, that is. I keep falling asleep after a paragraph or two and there's no visible solution for that.

Aaaanyway... Grief is a crazy thing. In order to appreciate the oasis, one must walk on out into the desert and wail. And hey, after all that what's left to fear? Only fear itself. It's not pretty, but there it is. So. I've done the story-reading, bed-tucking, med-dosing thing, now to drown out the voices in my head--maybe they'll disappear behind some push-ups and prayer. Do you think it's possible to fall asleep in the middle of lunges? Let's find out.

Thanks for the good thoughts, the sweetness of prayer, the sprinkle of pixie dust. The encouragement keeps me upright when the rest of everything is going to heck in a handbasket. And hey, even with everything else, the kids are Learning, for goodness sakes. Ask G about Dante's Inferno. It's all good.

Wishing you peace, healing, and bliss in the ordinary.

No comments: