March 11, 1999
Born and died
It is a very odd thing to give birth to death. I was prepared for an entirely different experience. Prepared from the time of sex education class in 6th grade all the way thru birth preparation class 6 weeks before the due date. The books, the parenting magazines, the nursery furniture catalogues, the meetings with obs and doulas, the sonograms, hypno-birthing sessions. It's all about life. Giving birth to life. Which of course is just right for some huge percent of the population.
Just wasn't right for my percent of the population.
And truth be told, even if you had tried to prepare me for giving birth otherwise, I would have laughed in your face. I mean this isn't a third world country. I don't have any compromising diseases. We certainly didn't the quality of healthcare that a wealthy family might buy, but we weren't getting our pre-natal care at a street clinic either. Ha ha in your face. Are you joking? That's what I would have said.
When you stand on the bricks in the Red Tent, it isn't until death is actually issuing forward from your womb that you realize you are nothing in this equation. You are simply a portal between life and death. Sometimes the portal spills out in an oxygen, star filled, thriving, living planet. Sometimes the portal spills out in landscape of Mars where there may once have been life, hidden in those ancient ice crystals, but there is no human breathing there now.
At 4:47pm on Thursday afternoon, March 11th, 1999 at 47.71472 latitude and -122.33472 longitude, a portal opened thru me and I gave birth to death.
Today, Nine Years Later
And so today we move through the ninth anniversary of this space age event. I've touched down in the gravity of homelessness, prosperity, travel to new lands, artistic endeavors, meditation explorations, mental and emotional dysfunction of one family, the support and love of the other functional family, and a zillion other experiences.
It has not been a linear path by any means. I've danced round and round, slowing finding a way, integrating the paradox of birth and death into this one being.
I know now there is no way to truly know that experience. Anything I think I know is simply ego. Any experience or thoughts I glom onto with fervent passion are just ego. There is no religion, politics, academy of study, philosophy or psychology that isn't anything more than ego. It isn't good or bad. We can't really shake away from ego. It's part of the human experience. But there is something beyond ego.
There is witness.
And this witness has stayed with me through it all. It allows me to value both Dakota's life and death and the spiritual rebirth of the other-worldly entity also named Dakota. It allows me to value all the extremes of marriage, the blessings, the mundane, the ugly, the love, the feel of a partner who has seen the depths with me. It allows me to gleefully watch the life and growth of our living children and grandchildren while never diminishing the place any deceased child holds within a family structure. It allows me to understand the value of time we have when alive -- with my husband, my mother, my friends -- and to full acknowledge the time that will come when they and I will no longer be alive -- and to have no fear about that at all.
And so today...
there is nothing here for you today except witness.
A textured angel whose every bump marks what it sees.
If you have someone or something you wish to witness outloud, too, feel free to leave a comment here today. You do not witness alone either.