Friday, May 06, 2011

Birth and Death

I am so lame. I've been wanting to blog for weeks, but the ability to get to this computer (with the pictures) during a time when I had a few minutes to write and be inspired enough to say something interesting.... Well. Here I am.

What I've wanted to be posting first starts with this picture. Dave put in raised beds in the garden for me, and the day after a bunny mowed down our first round of beets and lettuce, added this beautiful, architectural bunny and rat fighting fence.

I love it. I love my garden with a feeling I did not know I had. I have missed actively gardening for about 4 years now. Three years ago was the diverticulitis; 2 years ago was hospitalization for twins; 1 year ago, I can't really remember, but I'm going to assume I was occupied with my twinnies. Nothing happened in the garden last year.

But this year, we've got lots of growth in a beautiful, beautiful space. I am much a believer of the intersection of form and function. It's got to be beautiful and it's got to work. Dave's handyman, craftiness has made gardening the most pleasant extra-work thing I do. Thank you, honey!!

So that's birth: the birth of a garden and the rebirth of my life outside of the twins.

What about death? Well, there is an interesting thing I only recently learned. After my first miscarriage, the chair of my department told a group of people at the time that my miscarriage--"It was for the better."




What the fuckety fuck???

First, I got really upset when I heard that. I will be honest with you: it's the angriest I have been, perhaps in my entire life. The death of my baby was for the better? What????? Alcohol was likely involved with the anger considering I heard this during a casual happy hour, so let's blame that a bit for the anger.

But let's go a little further. And this is where I can easily move from being generous or nutty. The generous interpretation: He was making one of those stupid comments people make when women have miscarriages. It's entirely possible and, not unlikely, given his social skills.

The nutty interpretation (and by that I mean, I look like a completely paranoid nutjob) involves my state, at that point, of being an assistant (i.e., untenured) professor: it was better for my career that I didn't have another child. People bristle at that interpretation, but I think it's reasonable that he meant that, too. I am not trying to be coy about what was going on at the time, but for Dave and me, we believe this is an entirely reasonable interpretation. It's only nutty to those who weren't around us during that time.

He may have even meant a combination of the nutty interpretation and the more generous interpretation. A dead baby is a win-win for me!! Lucky me!


After I sobered up and got some distance from learning this information, I had a glorious revelation. And indeed, it came while I was walking back from my garden: I have everything I've ever wanted. I have my dream job, with my dream colleagues (mostly). I live in my dream house and I have my dream family. He's no longer my chair. He no longer works in my department. He no longer works at the university, and, he's not even in the country anymore.

So, yeah. I wish I could report back on some insight on forgiveness that I had. I don't have one. I'm not a good enough person to experience forgiveness that involves reconciliation and new close relationship with the "offending person". No. I think for me, forgiveness in this situation is just indifference. It's a feeling of "meh", which, I have to admit, is a pleasant one to have.

UPDATE: I spoke with my friend about his comment after she read this post and my "nutty" interpretation was the correct one. Fortunately, several of the feminists in the room (and the discussion was on INCREASING DIVERSITY AT OUR UNIVERSITY!) called him on this completely inappropriate statement.