"Edited to Add"....

This started as a pregnancy blog when I fell pregnant in May 2009 after four years of finding a donor, doing all the counselling / paperwork / tests and trying.

And now, thanks to a 4WD which skidded onto our side of the road, killing our baby daughter at 34w and injuring me, my partner and two of my stepdaughters on 27 December 2009, it has turned into something else. We didn't want this something else, but apparently it is all we've got to go on with.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Dirt 101

There's a special art to running through crowded city streets.  Speed up, sideways step, watch for a gap.  My heart expands to knock at my ribs and nearly bowl over the people in my path, until I'm all heart - messy, beating, puffing and suddenly seeing all these messy human hearts around me.  A woman sees me running towards her and fear blanks across her face briefly - she looks wildly behind me, her own steps a little quicker.  I have a good reason to run - I don't want to be late for my osteo appointment, but I feel like I've just woken, as though my blood is reaching cells that have been slowly greying.

Things have been really grey lately.  Everything is a big effort.  I'm kind of embarrassed to write about it because this kind of sadness is dull.  I bore myself.  It's as though I'm stuck at the bottom of a big hole in the ground.  Poem by poem, I'm digging myself out, and I know from the voices of loved ones which way is up, but I can't really pretend to be anywhere else at the moment.  I have to make reluctant friends with this situation.

 (Image from here)

So what are you trying to tell me, deep dark hole?  To stop dreaming of the stars (and one particularly bright little star)?  That my little slow-crafted words will come to nothing?  That I am one and the same as the slippery grey-black clay on every side of me?  Come on, hole, teach me your lesson and then we can be done.  I'm not going to be bullied into silence and self-pity.  Enough of that. 

I'm not at all prejudiced against holes in the ground - in fact, my daughter lives in one, as do many of my favourite trees, earthworms and root vegetables.  If dirt is my destiny, then bring it on, dirt.  Show me your microbes, let me remember what dirt smells like, and the grit of it between my fingers.  

Time moves slowly under the earth.  Things are hidden, processes work slowly but powerfully.  Minerals are crushed, underground rivers carved, liquids percolate drip by drip, continental plates grind past one another millimeter by millimeter - all monumental changes occurring at a pace measured in centuries rather than minutes.  What else is down here?  Things unwanted or forgotten, buried and mourned - so many things lost and wasted which are slowly being turned back into the earth itself.  Nothing goes away down here, but is slowly transformed, releasing water and nutrients to feed patient tree roots, or our lawn.  This is where rivers are born.  Nothing flashy or spectacular, just cold humble earth.

Dear hole in the ground, that's what I'd like - some of that persistence - slow elemental momentum.  The ability to slowly work through this sad stuff with earthworms and use it to grow something good. 


  1. ♥ Don't be embarrassed, please, about posting this stuff, as it is the truth of where you are. And the thing about grief is that it can hide, it can disappear for days, weeks, years, and then bam! it can take you by surprise.

    I'm sorry you're in a hole. I hope that it's not so hard to climb out of. ♥

  2. Apparently, from a really deep hole, you can see the stars when you look up. So look up, focus on the star that is there for you, pulling you relentlessly onwards and just keep breathing. And climbing when you have energy in you're fingertips to do so.

    When you don't, just look up, sense the peace the hole is giving you, and talk to the star.

    I don't know any other way. It's mighty hard to keep doing it though.

  3. "Nothing goes away down here, but is slowly transformed, releasing water and nutrients to feed patient tree roots, or our lawn. This is where rivers are born. Nothing flashy or spectacular, just cold humble earth."

    There is no shame in being in the hole and this is why.

  4. That my little slow-crafted words will come to nothing? That I am one and the same as the slippery grey-black clay on every side of me?

    Is it possible that we are, in fact, in the same hole?

    You are right, there is nothing wrong with holes in the ground. Many good things spring from the dirt. But it can be hard waiting for that transformation, when you are wading through the sad, cold stuff full of worms.

    Hope that grey goes away soon.

  5. I certainly know where you are. Ive spent a fair bit of time there myself. All you can do is little by little pull yourself up until you are out of it. Thinking of you

  6. Much love to you, Hanen. Thinking of you with love and light (and mud and worms too, because, let's face it, I'm never very far from them myself.)


  7. Thank you so much dear ones. xxxxxh

  8. im sorry you are feeling this way right now hanen, but this is a profoundly beautiful post and you my friend are an amazing writer. "quick, give the girl a harmonica, she plays the blues so well" looking forward to mid august with you xxx anne

  9. sending hugs. and im sure you rock dull....