Although we had some pretty nice digs down in Arizona, I did not have a reliable internet connection for the entire week. I was able to post my first vacation entry, but I was unable to post the other two. So here goes....
March 11, 2008
Flowers in the desert
I'm sitting in a room with the window open and I'm not freezing cold. I can smell the chlorine from Mr. JB's bathing suit that's drying in the closet. I'm happily wearing a tank top and I'm sporting the beginnings of a pretty good tan.
So why then did I start to cry this morning?
[spoiler: If you haven't read The Time Traveler's Wife and would like to, you should probably stop reading.]
One of my favourite things to do is read in bed. I think that it is absolutely decadent to languish in bed until the late morning (and sometimes the early afternoon) avoiding reality and reading. I've tried to figure out a job that would make me as much money as teaching, but would only involve reading good books, but I haven't come up with one. Yet.
So this morning I woke up quite early and I decided that I was going to finish my book. I read The Time Traveler's Wife for the first time in January 2006. We had just started our TTC journey and I was already getting bummed that I wasn't pregnant yet. How naive, I know. The book is an amazing love story between a woman and a time traveler. It was hard to wrap my head around the concept of time traveling, but as I got into the story I forgot about the sheer implausibility of the story.
Henry and Clare have an amazing story. From a very young age Clare know that this strange man that keeps on appearing throughout her childhood and adolescence, is going to be her husband. Henry knows, because of his abilities, what the future holds for them. After the two get married, Clare decides that she wants to have a baby. Now Henry has quite a few reservations about getting Clare pregnant. He doesn't know if it would be possible for her to have a baby that will not time travel. He also knows that Clare will suffer through six miscarriages before she finally carries a baby to term.
The first time I read that part of the book it was a cold and gray January morning and I couldn't stop crying. Every time Clare had a miscarriage I felt like my heart was breaking for her. At one point in the books she holds the body of her baby that she had just miscarried. Really, it was almost too much to take.
So why take this book with me on my vacation?
Clare had her baby in the end. She had a beautiful daughter named Alba and she is absolutely perfect. Although Clare carried the pain of losing all of those babies, she finally felt life growing inside of her. Clare gave birth. Clare got to watch her baby grow into a beautiful little girl.
So despite being an incredibly sad book, as so many love stories are, this book gives me hope. Although I have not experienced a miscarriage, I feel a smaller, but similar pain every month when my period comes. But just like all of the beautiful wildflowers that I saw today among the dead cacti, there is hope in the desert. It's just a matter of finding it.
March 12, 2008
I'm at the point in our vacation where I'm getting homesick (for snow? I'm so crazy), but I'm also sad that we have to go home. Don't get me wrong, I love hanging out with Mr. JB's family. They're fun, entertaining and we genuinely like one another. The cousins that we're staying with are incredibly generous with their time and are incredible hosts. The guest room that we're staying is very pretty (recently redone for our visit!), has DirectTV (which I am totally addicted to, but am so glad that we don't don't it in Canada because I wouldn't get anything done for all the good channels) and we have our own bathroom (something very important for someone with colitis). So all in all, we have it pretty good.
We have a running joke that I married into the family so I could be the designated driver to all the happy partiers, which is very much appreciated. I stopped drinking at the height of my colitis issues and haven't looked back. Coupled with the yoga and organic food eating lifestyle that I've adopted, the drinking just doesn't mix. I was never a big drinker to begin with. I blame it on being such a control freak. I would watch my university roommates getting blotto and I never quite understood how they could completely let go of all their faculties. I had a lot of practice driving drunkards around at school -- not only did I have a car, but alcohol just didn't interest me. I may miss having a nice glass of red wine with dinner, but I now associate alcohol consumption with intense intestinal pain, so it was pretty easy to give it up for good.
Sometimes I envy my friends and family and their capacities to drink, but another part of me enjoys being the outsider watching the silliness. I guess I'm lucky to keep the company of fun drunks, rather than the angry, depressing kind.
I've wondered in the midst of my lack of babymaking funk, if it would be a good thing to find something to numb my sadness. The yoga definitely helps with the thought pausing, but eventually I have to return to reality and think again. I'm also an incredibly sensitive person. I've always felt my emotions (and the emotions of the people around me) very strongly, which is something that I believe contributed to my clinical depression in my 20's. I've become very good at thinking about nothing, but it only works for so long. So what do I focus on?Do I think happy thoughts? Do I focus on the future? Do I do things to fill up my time so I don't have to think?
So while I'm looking for that answer I'm going to continue writing. When I was a melancholy teenager listening to the Cure and wearing dark red lipstick, desperately aching to get out of my parents' house, I remember thinking that writing was my salvation. It fills up time and it gives me something positive to focus on. And maybe someone in the bloggosphere will read what I've written and feel comfort. I don't know. I do know that writing here takes a little bit of the pain in my heart away, even for a little while.