We've been back from Tasmania for a week exactly, but I've felt untethered and confused about what to do next. It was like I'd fallen off the edge of the map I'd made for myself. All that planning and booking and making tabulated itineraries for our travels, and then ... nothing.* Or, nothing except those dates on the calendar, which burn through from last year. It didn't help that my phone battery had died, and I hadn't bought a 2011 diary yet, so I didn't have a paper or electronic year to stick my life onto.
But my new diary arrived today, the phone is fixed again, and with a mostly restorative weekend under my belt, I'm feeling a bit more human. And every now and then I remember, yes, we are here, (mostly) whole and (mostly) sane, having made it past the anniversary of the accident and Z's death / birth. I was so scared of the 27th of December - it felt like a black hole threatening to suck us in. But in the end, it was just an ordinary/extraordinary day (as they all are) - arguments, half-successful pancakes, picnic lunch, peace-making. We walked all the way from our campsite to Wineglass Bay and back again (with swimming in between), El Prima insisting that we stop at the bar in the lodge for a drink in Z's honour. A superb blue wren joined us.
It was almost dusk as we walked back to our campsite via the beach, and in the wet sand, the girls drew our family with sticks - including M (El Prima's older daughter, who lives in Sydney, and we miss) and Z - depicted still in my belly. She lived her whole life there, so I guess that makes good sense.
I wrote her name too, but I liked this one the best, with a Zorro-like "Z" right at the edge of the waves, where the sand is not solid or liquid but some other matter.
I've gotten so used to the idea of Z - this mysterious girl-baby who is almost indistinguishable from my baby-shaped grief. I think of how I was a year ago, and it was only just dawning on me that nothing would fix this, that I had to fit my head around two huge things in the one moment - I had a child and my child had died.
The holiday rolled on and we were kept busy getting from one place to the next, packing, unpacking, putting up tents, consulting maps. A beautiful, pleasant busy-ness, punctuated by meanders through rockpools, and along shorelines, through forests and by small rivers. (but still a running away) So it was all here waiting for me when we got back. And I'm trying to stop the running away for a bit and to see what it is that's chasing me, sit with it and see what it does.
* and El Prima and I were both back at work within 12 hours of getting home, so by "nothing", I mean the nothingness of back to the two working parent gig - not the nothing of days at home (which I appreciate can at times be just as lonely).
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