I Need You

•December 19, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I need you to stop looking at me

with the photographic memory.

I need your hands to be your hands,

not near me.

I know it’s ‘European’, but don’t.

I need you to see my space, see my space, and realize it’s mine.

Stop.

Stop being there with your photographic eyes.

Find a new subject. Find a new space.

This is mine.

You look into my space, my eyes and photograph

things that should never be seen

or shot.

The shots taken are undeleted.

They rest in time

I had my moment because of you

My space, eternal.

I had my moment in a moment with him

Not with you

And that, alone

Is what saves me.

A Loss is a Loss No Matter the Cost

•November 12, 2008 • 1 Comment

For several years I have been following the amazing, interesting, and thought-provoking blog of Julie over at alittlepregnant.com, and in doing so have, on occasion, become completely paranoid about my own ability to carry a child to term.
My husband and I recently decided to toss the condoms, pay a little closer to the calendar and drink a little less alcohol – – oh, and I am popping prenatal vitamins. Nothing too interesting. I’m fairly regular – 28-30 days a cycle, and in doing so was fairly confident I would be able to get pregnant with ease. Ha. Fucking. Ha. I’m aware that MANY people spend many months or years attempting to get pregnant. I was not really thinking at the outset of this beginning that it would happen the first month. And it did not. And what hit me hardest was the realization of the pain that each and every woman goes through each month, whether it be a woman on her 1st, 10th, or 36th cycle of trying to create a child. It’s painful. It’s hard. And what it made me realize is that I want it more than anything.
Julie is a mother of two beautiful boys. She has been through numerous failed cycles and her (and a few other peoples’) share of miscarriages. She also had to pay for most of the failed cycles to be medically overseen and pay for her miscarriages, sometimes 3 or 4 times because she did not only fail at pregnancy, but she, in her words, couldn’t even miscarry right.
One of my closest friends had to make an incredibly difficult decision recently to terminate her and her husband’s pregnancy. While in this case it was her choice, it was none-the-less difficult. And, yet again, she had to pay.
My first cycle? A measly 10 dollars. Very little compared to those women talked about above, but none the less… it really, really sucked. With symptoms growing by the day, we had all but picked out nursery colors. And then, 3 days late, my cycle ended on a bloody note, with only a sunken heart to show for it. A loss is a loss, even when it is just loss of a possibility. A much wanted, hoped for, dreamed for possibility.

This one is defective… Can I send it back?

•July 31, 2008 • Leave a Comment

On June 10th, 2007 there was a general election in the country of Belgium. I know this because my husband voted by absentee ballot and I remember him mailing it off when he was still living in Florida. Also, Wikipedia reminded me.

From June 10th, 2007 to March 24th(ish) 2008, the country of Belgium could not decide on a Prime Minister. Which, as an American, seemed strange and odd to me, only because…hadn’t they just had an election? Well, yes. To elect a party to the majority, who then have to elect a prime minister. For as many years as I can figure, the Flemish (hackhackcough) have been in the majority power. I think. I request that if you know more about this, please by all means, correct me!

Belgium has been, it has been said “a country that works better in practice than theory”. Kind of like how you fly: jump, and miss the ground. It seems that Belgium has finally found the ground, but the squishy bits are… trying to still fly?

On March 24th, 2008 after 9 months (or a human gestational period), the government finally made a choice, Yves Leterme.

This is a man who has made no false pretenses about his belief that the Flemish should be more autonomous and shares the view of many Flemish about the “poor” Wallonian province. While many Flemish believe that the French province is slowly sinking into financial ruin, it is all tit-for-tat because the roles were reversed in the mid1900s, when the southern Francophones were wealthy from steel and still living off of charcoal riches. Cities like Charleroi, whicn even my french-speaking husband admits “is rough, and they don’t speak properly” was once one of the richest cities in the province, having had tons of steel mills and mined the surrounding charcoal deposits. “Charcoal Mountains” can still be seen around the city, and if you dig 1-2meters down, semi precious stones are beginning to form in the hot coals.

He also believes that the French should adopt and learn Flemish, yet he himself cannot even remember the tune to the National song, and has claimed that the Walloons are incapable of learning Dutch.

But the problem is the pendulum swings and problems arise. There is a belief that things stay the same, but they don’t. If Belgium falls apart, what are we do to? People forget that the reason many of the people living in Flanders now live there is because they fled from the persecution in the Netherlands. In the Netherlands, over 53% are still Protestant, 28% identify as Catholic, and the remainder did not identify a religion (Wikipedia). I could not find the numbers on the Flemish stats, so my argument will end here, for now.

And all this would not have been interesting to me 18 months ago. But we decided to move to Belgium. Ironically, December 2007, I looked at my husband and said “If you country doesn’t have a government, I’m not moving!” I poked fun the other day after the Prime Minister quit, saying that they can’t even agree when someone wants to quit.

For all the chocolate and windmills and beautiful flowers, this country has a lot of issues. And I’ll be damned if I’m gonna live in France.

Growing Pains

•July 24, 2008 • Leave a Comment

There is a beauty in going somewhere new, visiting new places and learning about new culture. That said, it is painful, harsh, and reaches to the bottoms of the reserves of self-determination and will to test the very fiber of your being. Or, in my case, my marriage.

On July 11th, 2008 I arrived in my new adopted homeland of Belgium with 5 suitcases, 4 small (18″x20″) boxes, 2 cats, and a open, if slightly scared, mind. What I arrived to was a home waiting for decorating, a country full of people speaking French, and a husband who desperately wants me to feel happy and at ease here. What he currently has is a wife is on the verge of loosing her mind, mildly depressed, and stressed to the max.

I start a new job, teaching, at the end of August in a town about 45 minutes north of here. Happily, my non-french speaking self will be the Native English speaker in a bilingual classroom, and working may give me back my sense of independence and need for self-reliance, which is currently maxed out, but minimally fed. I feel lonely, trapped, and every moment spent in my house (3rd floor, no garden) seems like a moment trapped in a well painted, beautifully lit prison.

The sad part is I am fully aware of how lucky I am and how wonderful a husband I have, and that this is an opportunity to grow, learn a new language, and possibly raise our (future, unconceived) children here. That said, I am absolutely terrified I am going to fail, spectacularly. I am flat-dead terrified that I will not be able to learn the language, the rules of the road, or be able to interact with my new-found family (another post for another day) in a way that will keep my husband from running referee back and forth across the table.

So for now I sit and watch. And occasionally paint my kitchen. For fear of screwing up has led me to watch. Some adventures come with those handy little Lonely Planet guide books with tips like “Avoid uncooked greens, and always prepare the salad yourself.”. I don’t think there is a Lonely planet guide book for the adventure I’m beginning. But if anyone sees one, send it my way, will ya?

Unfinished? More like unsanded…

•February 18, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I’ll finally admit it. I don’t know what I’m going to do with my life or where I’m going. I know in July, I’m getting on a plane and really leaving the only home I’ve ever known. I know in April I’m going on my first archaeological expedition to a foreign country that requires vaccinations.

I know that I am marrying a man who loves me. I know that, eventually, Atom and I will have a house full of children, Om willing. But other than that, I haven’t a flying fish on a line.

Atom and I talked about life plans and things to do. I asked him that every six weeks we put up a map of Europe, throw a dart, and jump on a train to go camping. I’m moving into an apartment with no yard for the first time in my life. I have the feeling that I may need to visit nature more often.

We realized that if I go back to school, I’ll continue to gain student loans and not pay off the ones I’ve already accrued. So, for this year, I will work. I may go back to teaching, or I may be a shovel bum. After I’ve paid off my loans and we’ve put a few months of salary away and finished paying off Four Weddings and a Migraine. Remind me to tell you all how I got roped into Four weddings!

I’ll just finish…

•February 17, 2008 • Leave a Comment

It started when I was about 12 years old, and I decided I was only going to go to Highschool, no college. Well, I got the opportunity to dual enroll, so…. “I’ll just finish my AA..”

The opportunity arose to get my Montessori certification, so I did that. While learning about Montessori, I realized I really liked Anthropology. “I’ll just take a few classes at the University….” Two years later, I’m on the cusp of finishing my bachelors in Anthropology, and I’m looking at Grad school, and I’m seriously considering not going.

“I’ll just finish my bachelor’s….”

Getting to know you

•December 10, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I had my first dinner with my father in a while. We both turned off the cellphones and had a real conversation. We talked about people that he’s normally on the phone with, but we talked. We talked about what I’m doing over the holidays while I’m away in Europe, and what he’ll be doing.

I enjoy talking to him. I enjoy hearing about the things he’s done in his life, it is very interesting.

It’s like I’m getting to know part of my past.

 
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