This necklace immediately felt very powerful ~ I didn't even try it on for a couple days; I was intimidated. But it also feels *clean*. I'm wondering if perhaps this is in resonance with the intense feelings of childbirth that I've heard are crisply part of that moment, and do not linger (so that we won't mind doing it again).
In her words:
"The gems that requested to be near you are the following ones: Rose quartz, (pink): Unconditional love & nurturing acceptance of oneself Garnets, (red): Improves the quality of the blood, wound healing, fortifies the inner flame, the desire for self realization and encourages the basic dynamics of shared survival: mutual help Adventurine, (light Green): Calming quality, encourages pure heart centered love, and supports embarking on new adventures, and reveals what makes us happy or unhappy Pearls, (peacock): The essence of the Mother, which is created inside the womb of the sea beings. Encourages ease in childbirth"
Ha! At my midwife visit yesterday, I told her that I was having trouble visualizing baby's actual position inside my belly. So she got a kids' marker and drew me a diagram! As she drew, she realized it was more of a challenge than she expected, so she went ahead and labeled it, too. This made me laugh really hard.
The outer circle represents my uterus.
The lighting and my camera don't help you see that there is an arrow pointing down (the direction the baby will go at birth), and then way underneath it says, "head".
On this side are the little legs and feet, umbilical cord, and, toward the bottom, elbows suggesting arms.
Talking to Woo on the phone, I got teared up. You, Baby, have already pierced my heart. Having you inside me just under the surface is like no other experience. A few days ago, knowing we were full term at 37 weeks, I felt "ready" ~ I had a little fantasy of your coming at any time, "early". I no longer wish for you to come "early", or to be impatient for the time of your emergence. This space of having you inside of me is so minute in the course of a lifetime. So precious. I want to savor it. It will be passed before I even have a chance to blink. Take your time. Don't rush. I love this moment. Mmmm.
I rub below my ribs on the right and feel your legs there tucked. Your back riding down the length of my belly just to the left of my belly button. I rub there and you respond, slightly shifting ~ first your tail and then your legs, your arms.
I am filled with you. Full of you. My skin has stretched, my organs and bones shifted to accommodate your developing form. We are a pair, you and I ~ yet one, all at the same time.
Soon you will be out in this cold air. I will hold your skin next to my skin, next to my heart, for as long as I can.
But for now you are snuggled warm inside. And I can enjoy holding you in this way, savor your presence as literally a part of my being for this ~ one of the last nights of this miraculous tandem all-in-one existence.
With such happenings and goings-on, Papi Sealion and I almost let a very important milestone go by unacknowledged: A year and a week ago ~ August 31, 2007, we married. That's right ~ there in the middle of the Black Rock Desert we made it For Real. Getting married at Burning Man is pretty cliche' among burners; we were a couple in most likely hundreds who chose to tie the knot there that week (some more sincerely than others) ~ there were a couple wedding parties taking place just yards away from ours, even! For whatever reason, I've found it hard to be a cheerleader, a teamplayer, or a bandwagon-jumper in my life. With just a few exceptions. Burning Man is one of those exceptions. So I report straightforwardly to those locals who have their preconceptions or jaded judgments about that week-long celebration of open expression that, yes: I got married at Burning Man.
We thought of many ways and places to do it. But Black Rock City kept feeling like the rightest place. Both of us believed that attending together that first year was the turning point in our relationship that launched us to where and who we are today. Seminal. And we would have had an actual wedding party, too. But getting to Black Rock City is a personal, logistical, as well as scheduling challenge; it's not quite as simple as catching a plane to Chicago. Some of those most supportive and influential to our relationship just weren't there. So we did it by ourselves ~ or, as much as you can be by yourself in that city of almost-40-thousand.
Dust storm self-portrait.
Sealion, as we made The Decision to prepare for our wedding.
In the midst of one of many dramatic dust storms of the week, on Friday afternoon, we costumed ourselves in our finest playa-wear and headed out. We didn't have a specific destination in mind. I had heard that there were tea ceremonies somewhere near The Man at a certain hour (specific times, places, and schedules being quite dubious at Burning Man) that day. We liked the idea of some kind of ceremony and ritual, so we walked to The Man in search. And didn't find any tea ceremony. At this point, in the heat of the day, I having chosen to go barefoot (it sounded good at the time), and now low on brain calories, we were beginning to think maybe our timing was just not right. Maybe we should go back to camp. And then it rained. The week had been treacherously hot even for the Black Rock Desert, and the rain was welcome if brief. People danced and sang. Then there it was: the biggest most vivid rainbow I can remember. It went through the spectrum and then through it again on the other side.
It arched broadly across the grumbly-dark sky, and landed: right on the Temple. This was the sign we needed, and we followed it. Way out there across the playa, directly towards the Temple we trekked. Stopped in and paid homage at the (much smaller in size) Tasseograph Trash Tea Temple (the precursor to this year's official Temple by the same artist ~ beloved Lucent Dossier member, Shrine) (and also interestingly appropriate in light of our original search for a tea ceremony). It felt holy.
Tasseography is "the ritual of 'reading' tea leaves in an act of divination or fortune-telling."
The Temple itself was full of other weddings and wedding-goers ~ Chinese dragons, musicians, and a whole procession dressed in red. Then a couple of women and their smaller but just as festive wedding party. Plus all the temple-goers who just happened to be there. So we sought out a little patch of dust just outside of hearing range of the loudest of the music. As we held hands and focused our attention on one another, cyclist-citizens and artcars rode by and spectated. One guy with a bullhorn shouted to us in classic BRC fashion "Stop being in love" (or something like that). We laughed. Sealion and I shared feelings and made vows. Impromptu, we kinda wish we had recorded it. But it was real, and I felt much clearer and more in touch with my thoughts than I ever would have in a preplanned ceremony. We are more than the sum of our parts. Better together than separate. We inspire and help each other to Be Bigger and come closer to our Ideal. We envision a well-loved and nurtured family together. We promised to continue to strive to be the best version of ourselves we can be for each other, and to help one another in that process. I cried. He cried. We hugged for a long time, and kissed. And then Sealion set up the tripod and we took some photos. My little camera ran out of batteries.
It felt right, huge, and solid. And For Real.
With the Temple and its crowd in the background.
From the vantage point of the Temple, with the wide open playa behind us.
So happy with this man.
Sunset approached. We walked hand-in-hand to the Temple. The ritual of the Temple is that people bring offerings, photos and notes of loved-ones passed, regrets challenges and hurts, and promises and hopes that they leave there in mindful meditation. All reachable walls are covered with handwritten words and dedications throughout the week. As the Temple burns on Sunday, the fire seals these. There we silently wrote on opposite sides of the same wall: letting go of things inside that might keep us from dedicating ourselves wholly to our intentions together.
Then we made our way back to camp and the rest of our world, ate some dinner, changed into our afterdark gear and. . celebrated another night in our favorite city on the planet.
postscript: November 1st, Sealion and I went to the Sacramento County Courthouse with lovely Gyrlene as our witness, and had our marriage sanctioned by the state.
"Want an Obama T-shirt? MoveOn's giving them out if you make a small donation to their young-voter registration program, aimed at registering half a million young voters in swing states. I just got mine, and wanted to share the opportunity with you."