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daily fieldnotes » Blog's archive » Spinning in Sunsets
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Spinning in Sunsets 4

It’s hard to talk about wanting a family, and not having it yet, and being in the in-between space of wondering what to do next. At every turn there’s advice. Give it more time. Get help right away. Try acupuncture. Take this test. Avoid that test. Try homeopathy. Eat better. Drink more water. Drop caffeine.

And of course—relax. Always that.

Everyone wants to help. And lots of it is good advice.

But none of it helps with the feelings that come along with “trying” and not having anything happen. Like rowing a boat with holes in my oar, pushing hard against the current and finding myself only swept further downstream, each month is a little harder than the last. Isolation becomes more comfortable than trying to talk. It’s easier to spin around in my boat, burrow deeper in, try to patch up my oar and keep going alone.

It’s easier to change the subject and talk about sunsets.

Like how the sinking sun lit up the clouds on our way home from school last week, made the downtown buildings glow like Mordor. How the deep pomegranate red turned to persimmon orange, reaching out to engulf us. How cars inched across the Bay Bridge, and instead of noticing how slow it was, we all turned our eyes to the sky and enjoyed the journey.

What do you find hard to talk about with the people in your life? What helps?

Or how about you just tell me what’s making you smile today, ’cause I’d love to hear about it.


  1. Megsie

    11/17/2010 at 9:30 pm

    I am not sure what is hard for me to talk about, I kind of vomit out anything. I guess it just depends on who is listening. I censor certain things from certain people.

    But I hear you on the waiting. It so scary and unknown and disappointing. I have had many (many) friends who have gone through just what you are going through right now. It is one hard journey to take. It took some of them years to get pregnant, (and many procedures). One very close friend never did, but found her children another way. I just don’t think there is any advice to give. That is not what you need anyway. Support is what you need. And Faith. I for one have faith that you will find your child(ren). I am sure of it. And I will send up a prayer or two for you to be at peace until you do.

    And, a smile? Hmmm. I think my favorite smile of the day was with my students. I enjoy them so much. I am going to miss them when the semester ends.

  2. Larry

    11/18/2010 at 3:51 pm

    Right now I’m having a hard time with seasonal depression. I have so much worry about sounding like a “wet blanket” if I ever bring it up! More recently, though, I’ve been paying attention to the attending stories I tell myself about depression (“I’m broken/defective”, “nobody will want to hang out with me”, etc.) and try to ask “is that really true?” My chemistry is off, as is my mood sometimes – those are simple facts. Everything else is a tale I’m telling myself that only drives me deeper into grief. So I’m trying to just hang with “what is” non-judgmentally, and lay off of the stories.

    It’s like the Buddhist parable of the two arrows: I can’t do anything about the first arrow (the actual wound), but with practice I can avoid the second arrow (suffering because of my thoughts/feelings around the wound).

    Tonight I’m going to work on a house-warming gift (a segmented serving bowl) for a dear friend I’ll be spending Thanksgiving weekend with, and that’s a warm-fuzzy antidote to the winter blues. Crafting a gift of love that will hopefully last generations.

  3. cynthia newberry martin

    11/18/2010 at 8:34 pm

    yes it’s easier to talk about sunsets. we had one like this tuesday night. it was like the sky was on fire.

  4. Cherry

    11/19/2010 at 12:23 am

    Megsie–your kind words really hit home last night. Thank you!

    Larry–that bowl sounds incredible, I hope you will post a photo. You inspire and remind me to get my projects going (I have a quilt waiting in the wings).

    Cynthia–I’d never thought much about Georgia (besides going to Atlanta for conferences a couple times), and reading your blog/writing about it has sure made me want to visit there some day and get outside the city!


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