About Sitting Still

Few years ago my Canadian mother Shirley gave me a prescious piece of advice: when in disstress just sit still, do nothing and wait for the storm to calm down. Sounds good but for me it was counterintuitive. Obviously, I thought back then, action is the response to crisis; something has to be done to get rid of an unpleasant situation or troubling thoughts. It was a very difficult time for me back than and I dodn't have quite an idea how to prevent the uncomfortable which led me to trying to sit as the last resource. Sitting turned out to be a difficult practice though it doesn't look like it. Sitting still required calming my mind - the order far taller than just immobilising my body. Though I could control my limbs, it was far more complicated to control the speeding train of thoughts that appeared with bodily stillness. I've been practicing sitting ever since and however it gets a bit easier, not responding to disturbing thoughts is still a challenge.
I'm in a beautiful place now - a perfect one for sitting and relaxing. My beach house faces the sea, the sound of waves wakes me up in the morning and takes me to sleep at night. It's perfect, it's magical. It doesn't get better than this. It's a perfect place to sit.
I'm on the porch, the sea in front of me. The water gently enters the beach. I sit. The moment I immerse in stillness, my brain starts a race.
"How do you think this all will work out? How will you bring up this girl?", I hear. I sit. I don' t move. I don't respond to the voice. I know it too well. It demands answers like an perdistent interrogator. And I have no answers. So I don't respond. But the voice doesn't give up. "Who do you think you are?", it demands. "Obviously, you didn't think all this through. You and your petty mentality. Women all over the eorld have abortions and survive. But you had to stand up for yourself. You stubborn woman. Now you'll have it. Enjoy your holiday! You might not have another one for a long time. Ha, ha, ha!!!", the voice is mocking me. I accept what is says but I don't argue. I know that whatever I'll say the Voice knows better, it's got the answers. It feeds on defensiveness. I have no energy to defend myself. I'm sitting still. The Voice is there. I hear it in the left ear, then in the right one. It is trying to attack me from behind. It is jumping on my head. "Answer me", it cries. I'm sitting still. The Voice is getting more and more frustrated with the lack of my response. I still can hear it but a bit less. It's getting tired. It's not giving up, maybe it'll provoke me... I'm sitting still. My attention goes towards the sea and waves. I'd rather listen to the world which whispers to me: "Don't be scared. I'm with you." The Voice of the interrogator disappears for know. I know it'll be back trying to throw me into anxiety and despair. Till next time Voice. I'll be sitting here waiting for you in peace.


Building a Cathedral from Atrium on Bay in Toronto

When I worked in Timothy's in Toronto, I met a gentleman who used to come to the coffee shop for his daily tea fix. He was always very polite, kind and friendly and soon we became good friends. We talked a lot when I was preparing his beverage - we discussed the world, life, politics, normal stuff. He one day used this metaphor of life being like a grand construction of a medieval cathedral, which the metaphor I liked very much. From then on, we would come to the cafe and ask me every day how the cathedral was progressing. Upon my departure from Canada, he ask me for a word in private, sat me down and told to listen to him carefully. He then said very seriously that he knows and feels, and believes that I am capable of building a grand cathedral in my life and that he is convinced that I am able of great things.I really really moved. His words stayed with me until now.

I recently wrote to him after four years reporting on the progress with the cathedral.

I said:

" Dear Sir,

I hope you remember me  - Ania - the girls who used to work in the Timothy's Coffee Shop in Atrium on Bay.
I surely remember you and the cathedral metaphore you used in our conversations. Since I left Canada I've been working and living in Thailand where I've been builging my life and career as a teacher. The cathedral is growing. It's tough sometimes but the founds are solid so the structure is growing.
I will become a mom soon - an addition to the cathedral is arriving in September. As it's such an epic event in life, I often go back to the last conversation we had when you said I could do and achieve anything I wanted in life. I will hang on to these words now even more than before hoping that I can be a successful parent.
I hope you are doing well. Marlene, the woman who works for LAO said you are retiring soon. Oh, that would be nice - I guess.
I wish you all the best, Sir, and thank you for the words that added to the string founds of the cathedral.
Best regards,
Ania Mulica"

This is what I got:
"What a lovely note with such kind remembrances!! I of course remember you and have those two photographs you sold to me in the cafe . Congratulations on the prospective family addition. That is a wonderful part of life and you will be amazed at how everything becomes different but so much better upon your baby's arrival. I am touched that you remember the cathedral story. It is one I heard a long time ago and it sustains me in challenging times and gives me purpose and energy in the good times. May you always enjoy building your cathedral and know the joy it will bring to you, your child, and all who you know and many you dont know who you influence by your commitment to a better world. All the best."

Beautiful, touching words from a beautiful and wise person. And he is not the only beautiful person I met and got to know at the Thimothy's in Atrium on Bay, which the place was more for me than a workplace.


31 weeks

I have no idea where the time is going. I think somebody is cheating here. It was just yesterday when I did the test in the cinema toilet (never finished the movie), it was maybe two days ago when I was boarding the plane to Paris and not longer than three days ago I came back from the French capital. No?

And here we are - 31 weeks in the making after another visit at the doctor's. 

We are getting bigger, we are healthy and kicking. She is kicking from the inside, still gently. I'm kicking at the gym. We are both doing fine and hopefully that's going to stay till the very end. 

I was a bit disappointed that she wouldn't let me to see her better today. She sleeps a lot during the day and today was not exception. Please God, let her stay like this! In my family we all loves sleeping as kids - maybe it's hereditary. I shook my belly few times but she just ignored me - here we go. I didn't see her face but I saw the foot. A beautiful little foot of a 1550g human being inside me. She is growing now really fast - by the time she comes out she will be about double the size she is now. What? Where? How? I better apply this stretch marks lotion really generously. 

I'm trying to get organized a bit before she arrives. I got the whole wardrobe from  friends in Thailand and friends around the world. So I'm now washing and folding all these wonderful little pieces of garment. My Little girl will be the best dressed infant in the entire world. I cannot express how grateful I am for all these goodies which allowed me to save thousands of baht. I know they are only things but to me they are expression of people's love and I feel showerd with this love. The love was taken away from me from one source but it was fund somewhere else. It's enough for me for now. I hope she also feels that she is loved and expected by her global family. 

I'm also in the process of collecting bears and toys for her from people from around the world since she is already such a citizen of the word. She has some friends waiting for her from: Afghanistan, South Africa, Bangladesh, Bali, Vietnam, Hong-Kong, the UK, Poland. We are waiting for a toy guest from Japan, Canada, the US, Guatemala and Russia - hopefully.  All that so that she feels that she will be looked after not only by me but also by all those uncles and aunties from around the world. 

I start a two week holiday on Friday. No alarm clocks for two weeks! Gym, pool, maybe beach. My last solo holiday for a long time.

Soon there will be a baby shower...
Then the school starts again.
Then September comes and on the 17th I should see my daughter after having pushed her out into the world. 
Science- fiction.


Paroles Paroles Paroles

It's been my favourite song recently. Words, words, words - empty, meaningless words... They ring in my ears and make my head explode. Promises never fulfilled, broken vows, empty reassurances. I feel sick from them. Lies. A deep and bottomless sea of lies. Why? What for?

Paroles, paroles, paroles...


One Very Sad Recollection

The days when my mom was hospitalized were possibly the grimmest days in my life. It felt unreal, it felt too painful to admit. The whole world was spinning, as it proved not the last time. We talked a lot during these days. I tried to tell her how much I loved her, how much I wanted her to be healthy and herself again. I was angry as well. At her, at her husband at her doctors. I was angry that this was happening to me. 

During one of many visits we sat in the yard and spoke. I can't remember what was the conversation exactly about - I just remember that I had this embarrassing thought in my head, an angry one "You haven't taught me anything in my life but how to smoke cigarettes." Many years before she told me that I was born so small becasue she couldn't stop smoking when she was pregnant with me. I blamed this for my natural take to smoking - at the age of nine I had my first cigarette and I smoke it with so much ease that even to me it was astonishing. I didn't become a regular smoker after that - few years later I would come back to this moment of bliss inhaling he cigarette smoke. So there it was, my Mom and my angry thought that I felt ashamed and guilty of. How ambivalent we can feel about one person!!!Loving someone so much and condemning them so much at the same time. 

When I was angrily harboring this thought in my head , she said to me: "I'm sorry for not teaching you anything else but how to smoke cigarettes." I don't think I said anything to this. I knew she knew that it was what I was thinking at the moment. It broke my heart, it broke her heart. We didn't know what to do about that.

I will never forget this exchange and I don't think it'll ever loose its impact on me. If I could, I would go back to this conversation and told her that there are so many things that she had taught me for which she should be proud of herself. I cannot do that, except in my heart and in my thoughts that I can send towards her with hope that she can hear me. 

I'm writing all about it because this conversation comes back to me each time I'm n the kitchen cooking. My mom was a great cook and she was able to create a meal out of nothing. Most of the times she cooked from scratch. She loved it, she expressed her love to us this way. I didn't spend a lot of time with her in the kitchen but it was enough for me to see how things are done. When I was growing up I was busy with other stuff, though, than standing at the stove. But somehow I assimilated some skills. And now I think that these skills are life-saving. I recent months I've been trying to save as much as possible and cooking at home was one of the ways to do so. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen now myself: preparing nourishing food for myself and for the Little one. I guess it's also my way to express some love to myself when nobody is around. I'm trying not to overdo it - I know that the food addiction is a fact and I think she had it - so I'm trying not to get there. Chopping, mixing, grilling and sizzling, however, give me the sense of connection with what was and with her. It's one of the ways that is left to reach out to someone who is gone. From this kitchen of mine, I repeat over and over again that after all it wasn't only smoking cigarettes that she taught me. I hope she hears me and she knows.



Pathetic Men

Sometimes I think, however, that it wasn't such a great idea. Especially when I look at my own broken relationship with my unpresent father. Did I have a right to bring her here without making sure that the man who is her dad will look after her and be there for her? 
I know how it hurts to long for this man's presence and not getting it. It creates the void in soul impossible to fill with anything. 
Even time is not a healer and when I think that I'm though this process o acceptance that my father considers alcohol his best friend, it hits me back and I feel so terribly sad and hellishly angry. Oh yes, anger is what I'm feeling this very moment. At him. At this man who promised to be there for me and hasn't even called me once during all this time I've been pregnant. I'm livid. I'm hurt. I hate men. Not only this one particular on but today I hate most of them. Maybe it'll change tomorrow but today I hold the collectively responsible for being assholes. Starting with my father, ending with Her father. Today I have no understanding and forgiveness for their behaviour - leaving women when they need them and have it all in their disregard. I need to vent somewhere and I can't be all zen about these things. I don't want to be zen.
 Abandoning your child is not fair. It's super weak and pathetic. And men who do it are weak and pathetic in my eyes today.