Huge (365)

This was a huge task we undertook in trying to do this blog, every single day for 365 days. And safe to say we haven’t completed it, not even close, but we also haven’t failed… Not in my opinion at least.

We thought we could do it because we said that we wouldn’t have to write much at all if we didn’t want to or couldn’t that day… A simple “I can’t do this one today, sorry folks”, or a one liner about the word of the day. No big obligation for a long or interesting post… Just a response. Any response.

I think we overlooked something pretty vital in that… Pocketcanadians and my nature. We don’t tend to do things feebly. We don’t want to give short meaningless responses to words that aren’t meaningless to us. And I’m actually saying this without checking it with her, but I think (maybe, pc?) that the same goes for her.

There’s something about a word coming up and feeling unable to write all of the things that are floating around in your head, and then not wanting to write a rubbish couple-of-sentences response, because then it feels like you’re passing that word by. There are words on here that are so difficult… Family members, grief, attachment, therapy… Not to mention to seemingly innocuous ones for each of us (persistent, for myself springs to mind. I once got very upset with pocketcanadian for using this word to describe me).

I want to finish all of these words. And I want to properly respond to all of the ones that invoke a reaction in me. I don’t want to pass a word by with a sarcastic or silly comment because I couldn’t handle it that day.

And I know that pocketcanadian wants to finish these words too.

So, I don’t know how it will look right now… Whether we’ll manage to reshuffle the words we haven’t done and again have it as a surprise word… Maybe this time as a word a week rather than a word a day. Or maybe we’ll just do it as and when we can and forget about coordinating our responses.

I don’t know what its going to look like, but I know that neither of us are done with these words just yet, even though we’ve been entirely rubbish at them the last several months. It was a huge task, a word a day, and I’m still proud of what we made with this space, that anybody at all followed us and sometimes read along. (thank you all of you who did that). And I’m ready for another year of trying to write things out of my head and into this space…

fifty-six: water

i have a bunch of unrelated thoughts. i’ll just write them here.

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i don’t usually have baths, usually only if i’m feeling little and triggered and i need to calm down i do. and when i do, i make it so so hot, put in baby soap or essential oils, and, as i cry (which i often do) i let my head sink under the water so my ears are covered, and i close my eyes, and just listen to my ragged breathing and my heartbeat until they both slow. sometimes i add more hot water. then i lie there some more. until the tears are done, or, more often, until someone bangs on the door with an urgent need to pee in this particular toilet or until someone pokes her head in to check if i’m alive in there.

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i also thought about ani difranco’s song everest, and about one my favourite lines: that the moon was so beautiful, the ocean held up a mirror. i love that. water as a reflection of the sky, as a mirror of what’s above.

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i am from a province where there are many beautiful lakes and rivers, but not near the sea. my wife has the atlantic ocean in her blood, and for her, coming home means being near the sea. it is so interesting that i have come to love it with the passion that i do, given my origins and my roots. but i just find i can breathe there. that it soothes me. that the sound of it, the smell of it, the coming and going of the tide, its movement and constant life, also feels like home to me.

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we got married by the water. and, water poured from the sky as we exchanged vows…our original plans of being outdoors foiled. we had a backup plan though, we didn’t even care, we were the furthest thing apart from bridezillas you could imagine. and the sunset that night, and then the meteor shower later on? more than made up for it.

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this blog is also about water; about the sea, the place where pocketbrit and i meet. ages ago i asked what her sea looked like, and it gave me chills, because it was so similar to mine. more recently, i asked her what her cottage looked like, and there were more variations there, but the basics were the same: the pounding surf outside the windows. warmth. coziness. a fireplace. room to stretch out or curl up into a ball, depending. blankets. each other, as close or as far as feels tolerable, given the day. love.

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did you know that our bodies are up to 60% water? that’s wild. also wild: the amount of tears i shed earlier today, while i sat on my bathroom floor, on the phone to pocketbrit, as i panicked. i was so young. she was so gentle. and then, part deux, tonight with my wife, as i confessed how so very not okay i have been, how i’ve been hiding it from everyone (i’m sorry), how lately, i just keep thinking how much better things would be for everyone if i weren’t here. i couldn’t see anything, for hours, for the water; the struggle continues as i try to finish these words.

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i recently watched a video of me bathing our newborn daughter in the NICU, the second bath of her life (the first given by a gruff nurse as she screamed bloody murder) (our baby, not the nurse) and i was struck by how very…purposeful i was. i was gentle, but i was confident, i knew what i was doing, was not remotely swayed by her tiny slippery body or her (numerous) indignant protests or her newness or the fact that this was the first bath i was giving our baby, the one i’d waited for my whole life, the one i thought would never come, especially after five rounds of fertility treatment and a huge bleed early in the pregnancy. no, in this video, i had a job to do. she had sticky molasses-like poop up her back and down her legs, and i was tasked with getting it off.

but then, by the end, when she was really yelling, her fists waving, her legs kicking, i gathered her up onto my chest, and i rocked her, and i swayed, and i apologized as i pressed my cheek onto her wet hair, and she quieted. and the video kept playing for a number of seconds with me doing that, and watching those last few seconds the other night (over and over again), it all got very watery then, too.