I don’t know how to break a silence this long with grace.
In short: I’m nearly three months pregnant. I spent some time in the psychiatric ward of the public hospital. My relationship ended abruptly and painfully. Most days I am too sick to leave my apartment. I’m in the process of clearing up my incomplete and returning to school in January. I should graduate with my second degree by next summer, before the baby is born. And hopefully, sometime in the next year, I am moving on from the state of Washington.
In the hospital they said that I was in shock. Shock is a fairly accurate description. Each day I shed a little more of the assumptions of possibility, stability, and availability that I wasn’t aware I’d been holding to. My life feels bottomless. I have no idea what to anticipate or hope for, what to hold to. I live literally moment to moment, day to day. My life feels small and womb-like, yet surrounded by a limitless cavern of uncertainty.
I have never before experienced the profound discomfort and immense effort entailed in literally just sitting with sadness, hope, and fear.
I’m not roving from shelter to shelter anymore, not running for the safety and security of my family, not fending off bigots or bears, not fighting the system for SSI, not trying to be a “real” writer, not “saving” anyone, not exhaustively researching anything, not wildly in love or craven in heartbreak, not building family or community, not expecting or wanting from anyone, not trying to make a living doing anything, just living– not even reading, not even writing, just living. Breathing moment to moment, gestating new life, sitting with some of the hardest and heaviest feelings I have ever experienced.
I can find no way to say this with grace: my heart is broken with the vast and sickening injustices of the prison industrial complex, as well as the systems of state structured bigotry that feeds it. That I sit with, moment to moment, day to day. How that relates to the baby coming to be in me, the heartache, the uncertainty, and even the hospital stay is a story so complex and contradictory that it exceeds my current capacity to relate.
In the meantime, prenatals and puking, WIC checks and waiting, headaches and heartaches and bowels that have also come to a standstill. I hold everything in my heart but hope.
“I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope, for hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love, for love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith, but the faith and the love are all in the waiting. Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought: So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.” -T.S. Eliot