Saturday, March 15, 2014

Today is my forty-fourth birthday,

Here’s a photo of myself and niece Emma earlier this week at the Snow exhibit at the Museum of Civilization. As part of her March Break, she spent a couple of days with us, and the four of us spent a day wandering museums and other exciting adventures. As our portrait demonstrates so well, apparently Victorian photographers couldn’t use camera equipment in the north, so re-created outdoor snow shots in photo studios instead—here we are looking rough, Victorian and so terribly serious.

Over the years, I seem to have turned these birthday posts into a kind of annual tally (last year, the year before, the year before, etc), checking in as to where I was at that given point, and what was going on (much the way, I suppose, I did recently in the blog tour interview and my short essay on the fragment). Last year, for example, I was swimming in the knowledge that I’d received my birth mother’s name, but couldn’t tell you that we already knew we were pregnant (for about a week—Christine informed me first thing, while I was still asleep, on the morning of March 8th). And now we have our Emperor Rose, who is entirely lovely, hilarious and so very entertaining, but slows everything else down considerably (as we fully knew she would). We live in a house on Alta Vista, where we all exist all day every day (but for travel for readings and other what-nots) as we all enjoy the benefits of time and space of Christine’s maternity leave (which ends in November). By this time next year, I’ll be home full-time solo with toddler. How did I get here?

Things are quieter, slower. Days revolve around baby, as does any attempt at work (I sit at desk with sleeping baby, I sit at desk while Christine feeds her, downstairs). Everything revolves around slowness, and how little we might leave the house.

We have a good lead, also, on where the birth mother might be. Could that registered letter I’ve been contemplating be far behind?

And the annual birthday poem. Obviously.

Birthday: forty-four,

            Disturbed. My body follows
            me around.
                        Rosmarie Waldrop, Love, Like Pronouns

Endless, numbered. An accidental thought. Geometry of calendars, reflect. We interrupt. Collapse punctuation, sulphur, deoxygenated blood. Intention. Were we not traffic, clipped. Misplaced, adjacent. As prepositions. Endless, snow. The very thing. I refuse. I take my distance. Forty-four years, equally distributed. Uncertainty of facts, persist. These grainy pronouns. Mother, may I. Tilt, a noise, distracts. Narratives, out of details. Question: falsehoods. To be born. Who are you, comma. Consequences, approach. Make a point of. I have less to say.

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