Monday, October 20, 2008

Full steam ahead

I wanted to share a section of the book that I really love. It's been a really strange process, reading what I've written through from the start and I'd forgotten just how much I have shared (purged). I read it over the weekend. I couldn't put it down, right up to the chapter after the one where Ellanor dies.

And then I find it so hard to wade through. Murky, muddy, processing of blinding grief. This section is really... urgh. Maybe it's just difficult for me. Although, feedback I've received from a few now indicates it seems to "lack direction" once I get here. I love this feedback, I've decided, because it has highlighted to me just how honestly I am writing this account. I was lacking in direction right after Ella died.

Now my job is to reel it back a bit and make some sense and use of all the angst. Otherwise, I'll lose readers like flies as soon as they hit that first post-death chapter.

The realisation didn’t hit me on the first day. Nor the second. It was a fair time before one day it dawned on me that I would have to work so hard to make sure Ellanor’s time here was remembered. I vowed to myself and made a promise to the empty room I was sitting in that I would do everything in my earthly power to insure her life did not go by unnoticed. That 2004 would not close the chapter on the daughter we gave life to, only to suddenly say goodbye thirty-one days later and that was it.

It was not until I read about the Mother Turtle totem one day at Peace Space that I connected the dots and the penny dropped. When reading about this beautiful animal, I felt a great kinship to her; the survivor nature of Turtle, how they move slowly, embracing courage with faith, sticking their necks out in order to make progress. Above all, I was struck by the symbolism and symmetry in the way a mother turtle lays her eggs in the sand and then remains connected to them, no matter where they end up, fending for themselves in the ocean once they have hatched, falling prey to hungry predators. Wherever they go in the world, she still has a thread of connection to each and every one of her babies.

I discovered some peace for myself then. I did not have to strive to ensure everybody (or anybody) remembered Ella, for I remembered her. Me, her mother. And I did not just remember her, I knew her innately, would know her anywhere I went now. This was what was important. If others came to know her, through me, then this was the welcome and graciously accepted icing on the already glorious cake.

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