Life has never been clear to me. I stumble forward rather than walk with purpose. I rarely have great moments of clarity like people do in books and movies, lucky bastards.
every once in a blue moon I can look at myself from the outside and see where I fit into the world. Here's an example.
I just watched video of when I was in labor with my third child. Now, in that moment, I was exhausted, afraid, worried, expectant (both literally AND figuratively). I remember thinking so many different things while walking up and down the hallways, wheeling the long metal IV pole and willing that baby to move lower, lower, lower dammit! What middle names were my husband and I going to choose? Were my two kids OK with their Aunt? Would I be able to do the epidural-free birth like I wanted? Did I look like a floating whale walking the halls in that horrid white gown?
the wonder of going into labor (and yes there are good things) was that my body, my physical being, pulled my thoughts away from their normal neurotic path of questions and concerns and brought them directly into the moment. Actually, the more "in the moment" I was, the less I thought. I breathed. I felt. I was. There was no future, past, just each moment, passing like clouds. And in the case of my labor, there was very...slow...progress.
My Dad was a Zen Buddhist and he always talked about being in the now, which I never understood, partly because as a teenager I ignored much of what he said and also because my brain doesn't work that way. I don't think many people's brains work that way. I think too much and it's never about what I'm doing at that moment, except, when my body demands it. So there I was, forty weeks pregnant. Round, full and waiting.
I watched this video and was amazed at how beautiful I looked. And believe me, beautiful is not a term I use loosely when talking about myself. Actually, I don't use the term at ALL when talking about myself. But I was I tell you and I know why. There was no ego, no self-editing, no criticism, no self awareness. I just was. When I say I was beautiful, I don't mean like an actress on the cover of Parenting magazine modeling the latest maternity trends. I mean I was beautifully connected to life. I fit into a scheme I never knew existed. I think I know what my Dad was talking about now. In those moments we are all our most beautiful.