06 January 2006

The World-Famous Cod Hole

Jason was cleaning out our entertainment cabinet, and oh hurrah, found a videotape I thought I'd lost. It's the record of our excursion, back when we were fairly newly a couple, diving on a liveaboard exploring "The World Famous Cod Hole", which is a dive site way up along the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. And as you do, he immediately popped it into the VCR. I had to leave the room to cry. It's not that I don't love my life now. It's not like I wouldn't die for my boys a thousand times over. It's not like motherhood isn't the coolest, most profound, most life-altering spiritual exercise I've ever undertaken. But watching that video, I saw a girl who had a life where she could say "hey, it's been fun, but I'm heading off for two months to Fiji and Australia to go have adventures and soak in the ocean. I imagine I'll come back if I feel like it." And damn, I miss that. The soundtrack to the video that the guy on the boat did of that trip is the Des'ree song "Ya Gotta Be". It's been on fulltime on the radio in my head since Jason found the tape. Probably doesn't help that Rowan is watching the thing nearly compulsively. He is obviously having a fine time integrating this woman he knows as "Mama" with that person on the tape, who is six years younger, sporting two-inch-long screaming bleached blonde hair, and is in excellent physical shape. He seems delighted that he can now point me out. The first few watch-throughs, he mistook me for another woman on the trip; a doughy midwestern newlywed who annoyed the bejeebers out of me at the time. I suppose that's some form of cosmic come-uppance. I'm pretty sure that finding that tape is yet another notice from the Cosmic Muffin, that I really, really need to get on with my life. Or back to my life, it's hard to say which, precisely. I think that through sheerest inertia, I have somehow allowed myself to go fallow, and to sort of circle around the shallow end of the drain. Or maybe that's just what one naturally does when one gets married and has children. All things reckoned, I'm doing just fine. And then in quiet moments, Des'ree sneaks into the back of my brain, and she's saying to me,

Listen as your day unfolds Challenge what the future holds Try and keep your head up to the sky Lovers, they may cause you tears Go ahead release your fears Stand up and be counted Don't be ashamed to cry You gotta be You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold You gotta be wiser, you gotta be hard You gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm You gotta stay together All I know, all I know, love will save the day
Potato Cod at Barrier Reef


At 1/06/2006 09:32:00 AM, Blogger MommaD said...

I hear you and I understand. Good luck in introducing some of your old self to your new self. :)

At 1/06/2006 02:39:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sigh. Here's another mom missing that feeling of being able to drop everything in an instant if needed and just disappear for a while, or longer. Even if you'd never do it - you could! And now... all these responsibilities and other self-afflicted stuff. Ah well, waiting to see where this transformation is leading us to.

At 1/09/2006 12:10:00 AM, Anonymous Deb said...

wow, this is a big one for me too. in fact probably my biggest struggle, i find myself trying to find my way back to... instead of trying to integrate all i know with what i am currently learning. The lure of longing for how things used to be vs the unknown OR the present moment of knee deep in snacks, potties and laundry

At 1/09/2006 01:54:00 PM, Blogger Laura said...

"you gotta be strong-ah-ah"...oh boy that song's now flooding my inner stereo speakers...hah! OK phew, ya hit some nail on the head for me! I am grateful for prophetic wisdom, even in the form of a pop song!!

At 1/14/2006 12:54:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I really, really need to get on with my life. Or back to my life, it's hard to say which, precisely. I think that through sheerest inertia, I have somehow allowed myself to go fallow"

Agriculturally speaking, a time for the ground to lay fallow is important for a variety of reasons including biodiversity in the soil, not limiting the area to monoculture and that there are seasons for everything. You can't expect wheat, for example, to grow year round in most climates...

So in the season when your kids are small, then it is to be expected that much of your effort and thoughts will be focussed on them. Total immersion in the corporate world at this stage wouldn't be right either IMO.

As for packing up to go on adventures in Australia (or anywhere else for that matter:-) - all it takes is a plane ticket (well, several), a backpack, a sling, a notebook, a pocketful of courage - and selective deafness to tune out the sounds of all those who say "Oh, you couldn't..."

See you soon in Australia LOL

At 1/15/2006 10:42:00 PM, Anonymous Dana said...

That freedom will return one day, pumpkin, when the kids are nearly grown, and especially when they're on their own.

Why do you think I love my life so much now???????

I still have my lovely family, but I have the freedom to come and go. Not as much freedom as you once had, but close enough that it really feels wonderful.

Yeah, you'll be older, but so what. Fish aren't picky;-)

At 1/24/2006 05:33:00 AM, Anonymous Laura P. said...

will we lose the feeling of those first few free steps? Or will something remain of this 'brand new, what will I do, oh, walking here just feels great!'-feeling?

I like the comment on soil, it makes it all make sense for the mother too :) AND I do recognize the piling up of energy that occurs during the years of forced loafing.


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