12 January 2012

Of Dreams and Risks

I read somewhere recently that
what we value is made clear by what we risk.
The thought has been rolling around in my mind,
much like a marble in a hollow space.
A bit too loud.

I'm sitting here, curled up on the pink couch in the studio,
washed in late morning light.
Moby's Everloving soft on the speakers.
I've been in this space for nearly two years.
And even as I love it, I'm already prepared to leave it.

What a strange, sputtering start to the new year.
I tend to appreciate clean cuts on my situational endings,
no dragging things about and across the line
between December and January.
Or anytime, for that matter.
Any length of waiting exhausts me with the sort of jittery energy
that only the not knowing can bestow.
But it's given me time to think
and with the waiting and the thinking come the questions.
Oh, those questions.

I've gotten bad about writing out my feelings-
now when I try to do so, I often become bottlenecked and
emotionally spent before letting a single emotion go.
I find the mental exercise frustrating, preferring instead
a nap or a hammer,
or a round of combat at the local gym.
The relief of disengagement.
From myself.

But it always comes back, the understanding that
there are things I must settle upon, accept, and understand.
The knowledge that I'm going to have to breathe out and look inward.
Primarily accept, I suppose, but I've always been the stubborn one,
and I come by it honestly.
Why accept it if you don't like it, I say to an empty room.
And from somewhere deep down in my ribs,
I hear a gentle whisper,

"Because, girl.
Because you might not be able to change it this time."

The not so fresh news I've been tucking away
in my heart's back pocket-
it would seem that there will be no baby.
Barring a miracle, we cannot.

Who would have thought,
with an instant and unplanned pregnancy five years ago,
that this would be the case now.
Parents before we were ready,
and now ready . . . but unable.

I look at The Monkey with a heart full of gratitude
for all I've been given,
even as I mourn what he might never have.
There are of course, a thousand other feelings swimming around inside me regarding this news,
but these are the two purest I can identify.
Gratitude. Sadness.
A confused sort of demi-awareness
that this news means at once nothing at all,
and everything.

I look around the studio space and think of
the creative haven it has been.
A place for making.
And now what I want to make the most, I cannot make.
So strange, this life!

Something happens to the creative drive when you
can't create life but want to.
I find myself bursting with unspent creativity in one minute,
and burning dry the next.
An ebb and flow of battery acid.
A spark in the pan.

Today is the first time I've put it in writing.
It hurts.

Connected to but not completely dependent on the would-be child,
is the issue of a new home.
I feel restless, and I want to go someplace new.

Someplace in need of restoration and love.
I want a home with a soul.
Old construction, ample space to breathe and move,
and ample light to keep my spirits in the sun.
I would like a place that feels like it was made for me,
that feels like home within and without.

We had found one but the numbers didn't crunch
in that necessary and appetizing way.
Now we've found another, a 1935, 3500 square foot dream.
A risk.

That rolling marble comes to a stop,
and in the resulting silence,
I think differently.

Maybe I value my dreams more than my reality,
and is that bad?
Maybe the risk shows I still have hope.
It is afterall, my life.
So do you buy a larger house for a family
that you cannot be certain will ever grow larger?
Do you move forward and into a home
that can support the life you want as opposed
to the life you have?
Prepare for the dream in case it comes true?
And surely faith must come into play somewhere in all this.

We found this place with a barn out back,
bricked in for preservation purposes
but all original on the inside.
I can see me here.
And the house itself,
fiercely in need of walls broken down-
but then again, I need that too.
I'll stand still, I promise, if you go find a hammer.
And we could shift the inner chambers and rooms,
and let fresh air blow the dust and doubt away.

A financial risk-
it needs a lot of work.
It needs time and patience.
It needs an internal makeover.
Maybe that's why I feel it fits me so well.
We both need something.

Learning to accept even as you are determined to dream?
It's important to do both.
Balancing the two and moving forward, every step
somehow fatigue and somehow hope.
A strange blend of blessings.

Life is good.
I know it.

Yet right or wrong,
the truth?
While thankful for all I've got,
I feel incomplete.

I want more than this.


  1. You so eloquently sum up the tug and push of life, the constant yearning superimposed upon a wish for contentment with today I think many of us feel. I'm sorry another biologic child may not be possible. I hope as you mourn the loss you are able to dream a new dream. Part of the joy we are unable to see lies mainly in the possibilities - may yours be endless. Best wishes for the new year wherever you build your nest in whatever life may bring next.

  2. I can identify with the itch...i know you will do what you have to do and what is right for you x

  3. aw jess. love you girl. wendy

  4. I tend to fight acceptance at times....when i'm a bit disconnected spiritually...then i remember to take a minute and ask for help...never give up hope..and if you are meant to have the house you will...there wll be other houses and other chances. When life gets difficult...reinforce faith constantly...I'm sorry deeply sorry for your pain. Hugs to you Jess..

  5. I understand. And somewhere deep down you know that on the other side of this pain, there are blessings. I'm proof. I have you.

  6. Sometimes, knowing our limitations gives us the freedom to do other things. It is good that you have this knowledge and are no longer simply wondering. And sometimes, miracles do happen (my God-daughter is one!), so don't give up completely. As the Monkey grows, so with the love and activity in whatever home you have, as well as the community. There will be playdates, friends, families, guests. Follow your heart.

  7. I understand the wanting more. Not the children thing, but the house thing. I understand stripping things down and making them new again. Clearing the dust. But what happens if you get into a financial situation that puts major stress on you and your family? The house is beautiful. I know you want to flood it with love. All I know to say is......pray. Just pray.

  8. you are a builder.
    of many things,
    through & through.


  9. I've often had the same thought "Maybe I value my dreams more than my reality". But I am not sure it's a bad thing. My dreams are what makes me push forward when life is hard. They make the bad days seem.. well less bad. There is always hope. I dream of starting a family. A little one of my one. It hasn't been as easy as I hoped it would. But I haven't given up on my dream. Neither should you. I see wonderful things in the future. For both of us.


  10. Oh Jess, I always see you as a strong woman and so creative! I am sure you can make your dreams come true. Enjoy your monkey and believe me good things do happen when you are not ready! I never dreamed of having a second child and I wasn't ready at all!!! But I am so grateful now that I have my little one. There were times that I desperately did want certain things to happen in my life but then my life took BETTER turns as I kept pushing myself in a positive way. I don't believe in miracles and prayers but I do believe nothing is 100%certain and the nature has its own way of surprising us. Keep dreaming my dear and invest yourself in a positive way and do not obsess of what you can't have, just move forward and focus on the positives of your lovely life and beautiful things will come to you:D Much love, Feri

  11. i've expressed my feelings for you on the disappointment you feel, but i wanted to tell you that your words are so heartfelt and the emotion so raw that it hurts me a well. i encourage you from a very deep place to see the gifts already here. BUT, i look at the house & potential for a wonderfully warm home - move forward, make a new home, and as has been said by previous friends, more good will follow. it is a great place, i see a little garden patch and the out buildings are great. you are a precious and very dear friend. hugs from Texas.

  12. This time last year my sister and her husband were told that it would be impossible for them to have children......... his fault apparently. She is now expecting twins! Life can be unpredictable, surprising, heartbreaking and glorious all at the same time. Stay true to your heart and your dreams. Hold tight to what you already have and love, and be open to what is meant for you. xxxx

  13. Ah. life. We never really know what will happen next, and we feel things so keenly...
    Sending you love .

  14. I'm sorry. Having a hard time putting the emotions into words to equal the beauty of this post.

  15. Yes and yes and yes and yes. Where God closes a door, break through the goddamn wall like the Kool-Aid man. I am so sorry you can't have what you want, but I hope you can choose what you need. I believe in you!

  16. I love what Delilah Dawson just said. And I truly feel for the feeling of bringing in life. I lost a baby at a very young age, then couldn't have one at all. We ended up among the very fortunate in having it work, but it took so long to get the nerve.

    And I love what you said about holding dreams more dear than reality. I get "accused" of that a lot by a few people and I never really saw the problem with it! Nothing wrong with some dreams, I think, unless they make us miserable in the process.

    Hugs to you.