Thursday, May 26, 2011

Talking underwater













I feel kind of like I'm on maternity leave. My new baby is, um, me. And I might possibly, thanks Emma, have a touch of post -partum depression.

Every since we returned to America I have felt somewhat newborn: exposed, awkward, wobbly-legged. I've also felt as if a long-awaited event has come to pass so quietly, so swiftly, I can't remember it happening. How long have we been home? Almost four weeks? Is that possible?

I've been cocooning, withdrawn, shielding myself from the real world here in the Honeycomb Hideout.

We are adapting. My kids, one could say, have adapted, but I am still getting used to this new, old existence. I'm in the attic of my life, looking at old pictures and going through a trunk of old clothes, picking some things up and wondering, "what the hell?"holding other things to me and saying, "Oh how I've missed this."

Not being in our real house has allowed me to ease into this adaption. This cabin in the woods is a buffer zone. It might as well be a hotel room or resort. We are here with our four bags of clothes, the dozen odd library books we checked out yesterday, a few DVD's including Tinkerbell, which I insisted just yesterday, while wincing, is to be viewed in French, and our dog. Nothing else.

I don't have an answering machine, or a cell phone, nor do many people know my phone number. There is no cell service here. My mail is still being sent to my mother's house. I haven't raised a finger to figuring out our health insurance yet. I need to contact the electric company and the gas people. Dentist and doctor appointments need to be made, but can wait. Some long-lost friends remain unseen. This too, after two years away, can wait.

I sit here day after day, listening to the scritch of mice, the pooping is never done, and the roar, swoosh and creak of the wind in the tress, the trees in the wind, and the desperate calls of spring peepers: pick me, pick me, pick me.

I watch the rain fall, the sun shine, the grass dance, and the clouds descend. I also watch the children speed barefoot past the windows, round and round, followed by their loyal dog.

And I laugh at myself for thinking we have lost something when there is so much for us here. Abundance. 

And, as I wrote to a friend back in France just yesterday, I have so much to talk about, but...
" but I haven't yet found my voice. I'm still under water, looking up at the surface and the blurry world above it, but preferring to stay down here in the cool darkness and blow bubbles every time I open my mouth. (Or then again, maybe I'm just talking out my ass....)

Some days I think I might be depressed. Then other days, on yet another trip on foot down the hill to pick the kids up from school, I look out at the Green mountains, the white steeple, and I smell the warming, waking earth and feel it squishy beneath my feet, and I have to smile about all of it.

Storm's a brewin' over here at Momformation. 

13 comments:

Anna said...

Wonderful.

i.ikeda said...

If I can offer something, a small suggestion, that you're of course free to laugh at... What do you think of taking this time of adjustment, cocooning, and reflection to write? I don't mean on the blog, but just for yourself or even physical, tangible, snail mail letters to send to friends. You have a gift for writing I think, and I also think this might be a fruitful time in that sense for you.

How's it with your husband being away? I'm about to embark in that same boat, but I'm the one being left behind with the little one to finish business for the next 6 months or so. I'm terrified. Any words of wisdom?

Betsy said...

i.ikeda: Your comment is perfectly timed and apter than apt. As a friend of mine often says, are you a writer, or a bored mom with a modem? it is the perfect time, and place, to write. And I will. I will. Signing off now.

Betsy said...

But then, of course, there is reading.....
Darn.

Emma said...

Yes Betsy, you really must write!! A book, a bunch of letters, a memoir- I don't care as long as I can read it some day. Your words are very emotive, a real talent.

When I read this entry just now, and you were wondering if you might be depressed, it struck me that perhaps you are experiencing something akin to the "baby blues"? Not full blown depression, but a kind of situational sadness that ebbs and flows, exacerbated by the fact that Ian isn't with you yet? I'm sure that writing about it would be cathartic (at least, it's quite cathartic for me, you know I live vicariously through your blog! ;) )

Angela said...

Betsy, sounds like you have a classic case of culture shock. You were away from home for a while and home moved on a bit, and so did you, so it takes a bit of time for you both to catch up with each other. And part of you might be just a little bit sad the the adventure is over...? Although of course, the new adventures are just beginning ;)

Betsy said...

Angela: True, true. It's normal to feel let down after an adventure. Kind of like post-holiday depression, but not exactly.

Betsy said...

Emma: "situational sadness that ebbs and flows." Perfect description. Thanks.

Angela said...

And oh, Betsy, it looks soooooo beautiful around the cabin! Yes, it might be a blessing that you don't have to go straight back into the house but get this "time out" to match your limbo state...

Nancy Shaw said...

I'm pretty intrigued by those bubbles that may or may not be coming from your mouth. To paraphrase Shinto Cho these are the only conversations that you can actually see.

mooserbeans said...

You do indeed have such a gift as a writer. i think that you deserve this chance to simply "be" in the wolrd. I have been known to spend the beginning of summer tuned out from the rat race. Friends often think I'm being aloof, but I need time to regroup. I absorb so much tension all year; the beginning of summer is time to decompres. You have earned it. Enjoy the tranquility.

Betsy said...

Very funny, Nancy. Of course you need to be in the bath to see them.

Betsy said...

p.s. who the heck is Shinto Cho?