Saturday, December 04, 2010

Life, death, book

How weird is this? Two lovely bloggers on my not-very-long blog feed (Northern Lights and Sorrow at Sills Bend) are having or have been having pregnancy dreams about kittens. Not wanting to bring them down, at all, but these dreams remind me I am so much in a different stage of the life cycle. My boy is growing up; has been offered two days full work next week at the funky grocery store in Brunswick where he did work experience in July; has just finished year 10; and patiently sat through the first half of the third Twilight movie with me last night in a mother-son ironic indulgence. (We'll watch the other half today: it's not too bad, but what I really loved were the long atmospheric scene-setting scenes and the soundtrack of the first.)

And I am still thinking about my poor beloved Mima. Especially when I come home, I still catch myself looking forward to seeing her, and am still liable to a little sob now and then. We talk about building an inside/outside enclosure for the next cat, to protect the birds, frogs and lizards in the garden, but in a rather abstract way. Truly, I'm far from ready. And my own body? Just feeling and looking a little older, at various points, and the various medical staff I've seen over the last few weeks have only confirmed this, with various philosophical and comforting remarks. So that's ok, really.

But the maternal impulse is still there somewhere. My hatchlings are growing up so fast (will take photos today and update later). And now that's it warm, it's possible to sit outside and watch the fish in the sunlight. The other day I saw a couple of inchlings, one dark, one a splotchy shubunkin. And then I saw some more that were half that size. And then I saw some more that were even smaller, no bigger than mosquito wrigglers, but very clearly fish. I've never seen any that small. Does that mean they have just come out into the open earlier than normal? If they all survive, we'll have an overcrowding problem. I love to think, in an earth-motherish way, about the chickens and the fish and the frogs and the birds in the garden, to say nothing of the bats we seeing fly overhead now it's summer.

But I have almost run out of social energy, and to preserve some for next week, which is very busy, I skipped the Vice-Chancellor's lunch and the Academic Board lunch and final meeting, and the Arts Faculty end-of-year party last week. But that's also partly because I am now working like a demon on my book, pulling it together tighter and tighter. It feels like the difference between an elastic going three times loosely around a ponytail, so it drops down; and going four times around, so that it stays firmly in place. This revision process doesn't feel at all like maternal labour; it's more like the physical work of toning muscles, or the core stability of a Pilates class. Finally, it's feeling good.

4 comments:

Hannah Kilpatrick said...

Hm. No pregnancy dreams here. Only, for some reason, breast cancer surgery dreams. Slightly disturbing.

I think the fish tend to take care of potential overcrowding themselves. Probably doesn't do to enquire too closely, but I've never seen them get overcrowded. I think they can suspend their growth or similar - but then, they also get eaten a lot by other things. Possibly including the frogs, in the case of our pond, which is only fair as the adult fish eat the tadpoles.

Elsewhere007 said...

I had an Irish flatmate who dreamt about giving birth to a cat once. She never had any kids, tho she had 4 cats in Dublin and 3 in Manchester at the time when I knew her.

Definitely get another cat...quite possibly a tortoiseshell, if you want a lot of activity in your house. When my mother's last dog died, I told her the best solution was to go and get another. She didn't want to, as she seemed convinced that she might die at any moment herself, so I told her I would take care of it when she died. She promptly went out and bought two dogs.

Jeffrey J. Cohen said...

We are now many, many months on from the loss of Scooby and I am no closer to being able to welcome a new dog. Two new hermit crabs, yes, but not a dog. I still miss Scooby too much.

Alex is so intent on going his own way at age 13 that quite movie nights are VERY important to us. He can be so moody sometimes that I don't recognize the sweet little guy he used to be ... and then suddenly that boy is back. Peaks and valleys.

As to mortality ... well, hard not to think about it. But I like how so much of your post affirms the relentlessness of life, Stephanie.

Mindy said...

I usually try and wait about six months between new cats. Until I really start to feel that there is a hole in the fabric of our life. Of course it always pays to have a cat carrier in the boot just in case the desire to visit the RSPCA strikes and you find the perfect cat there. They can chew their way out of a cardboard cat carrier in minutes, I discovered the hard way.