Sunday, 27 November 2011

Month of Light and Rehearsal of Christmas Carols

Today is the first advent. Although I am not so much into the traditional and don't particularly like Christmas anymore because of the consumerism I do love the symbolism of light. So this year, like many other years, I have created my own version of advent wreath and after a hard day's work have lit the first of the four candles. Every Sunday up until Christmas a further light gets lit.  It's also a reminder of my childhood in Switzerland, where we used to have an advent wreath every year. My mother still makes her own every year. 

Like every year around this time, the girls are practicing their Christmas Carols for their Christmas performance at school - with devotion and graceful zeal - and I was in tears. There is something about the symbolism of the Christmas story that I find very moving; the baby born in a stable to humble parent. The idea that with every light we move closer to the Big Light, the Shining Star. And this delivered by the seriousness of children with their big eyes, bell-like voices and their real emotion whenever they sing "Baby Jesus is born". 

So Christmas can be special after all. The stillness, the introspection, the being together in a meaningful way without having to do anything in particular. I can feel the magic. What magic will this year bring? With every light I light I feel I want to connect to something deeper - within. Something that connects us all. Humanity in union perhaps. All nations - one nation. And Peace. Not an ideal but an aspiration. 

Monday, 14 November 2011

The end of breastfeeding and the beginnings of openings

One door closes and one door opens. And in reality probably more than one opens. The way I experience it these days is like little bubbles of openings appear in my consciousness and for a split second I am at one, I am at peace, I believe that good will come, I trust and I can almost see the shape of what comes next. And then it's gone....... This is a new process. It's exciting. It also feels like a wind is blowing through my body and the openings, new openings,  are the passages where the wind can blow through freely.

This has come about through the transition of having stopped feeding my little one from my breasts. That was an intense and big transition. My milk took two weeks to go. For that time, I am blessed, I wasn't alone and my husband took over the comforting and soothing as with me the baby could not settle down with the absence of the breast and the presence of milk!

His hands still search the warm and soft skin but I think he has now forgotten where and how exactly he used to get comfort from. With this little one it had to be all or nothing. I kind of knew that a long time ago, but up until now I did not have the strength, or I or he were not ready to let go of that part of our relationship. Until one dear morning he would not let be of the breast, nor would he be comforted, and we ended both up in tears of frustration and I decided there and then that we had to end. We had a talk: "my dear baby Mami is tired and can not give you this anymore. We are going to end and it is going to be hard for both of us. It does not mean I am not there anymore to soothe and love you, it just means that we are moving on and growing".

So here it is. Growing we must and change is inevitable, ever present. I am not connected anymore in this so unique and intense way to another human being. Part of me is sad, and part of me is glad. There is an awareness and a wondering about the fact that the little one now grows independently of me, in the sense that nothing of my body flows into his body anymore. We are now truly two whereas before, for a long time, we were one, one flowing into the other, one giving and the other taking, to and fro. The first circle was severed through the process of birth, now the second circle has been severed through the ebbing of the milk. That there is a big circle connecting us somewhere I am sure of, but it doesn't lessen I think the importance and the enormity of the severance of these physical, perhaps existential circles. Somehow the question of 'who are you and who am I' moves into the foreground and 'what kind of relationship can we build'.

So my little baby, now I must get used to you now actually being a toddler. With that comes your will and your personality and we know that you have a very strong drive for exploration and a very strong mind of your own. I can see that we are going to have our battles, perhaps because your drive for exploration and your strong mind meets mine. But we are going to sail these rough seas no matter what. And my openings, the way I can seize them, will ultimately also be yours. So come on, let's sail sailor!