On long-term family planning

Posted on July 21, 2009. Filed under: Poetry | Tags: , , , , , |

by Brooke

G’s recent post on baby things in the goodwill pile inspired me to post this poem. It’s a first draft from my poetry month goal. What do you think it needs? more concrete images?

On long-term family planning

You once had
an aspiration
most people would balk at.

But who knew it would be so painful
to create
draining your daylight
to maintain the roles you created.

And
the steady drag
of the daily duties
of living (let’s not even mention
the worst ones
like eating
and sleeping
getting in the way
heavy eyelids and
hunger pangs—
they interrupt
and are difficult
pests)

You are changed.
But you are not someone else.
To stop before you thought you would
is not damning.

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Guest Post: Telling the Truth About Depression

Posted on June 22, 2009. Filed under: Mormon Life | Tags: , , , , |

(This post is by D’Arcy’s friend Jo (bio below). Since D’Arcy’s out of town,  I have the privilege of  introducing our guest blogger. I’m grateful that Jo has written about the reality of depression, which is especially important to me because many women in my life have these struggles.   -Jessawhy)

hi, i’m jo. i have a ba in humanities from byu and i used to work at the harold b. lee library. that’s where i met adventurous, compassionate, rosy-cheeked D’Arcy. i got married in 2002 and we had our first baby a year and two months later. shortly after, i was diagnosed with clinical depression (although i first started showing symptoms before i was even pregnant.) since that first diagnosis i have been on ten different anti-depressants/anti-anxiety medications, seen two therapists, two psychiatrists, and a handful of general practitioners. i’ve consulted with two different alternative health experts, read lots of books, and taken up (and dropped) yoga (although i’d like to take it up again!) i have two children, both who have never known a mom who isn’t dealing with depression in some form or another. it’s pretty safe to say that depression has affected every area of my life: my physical health, my relationships (especially my relationship with my husband), my ability as a mother, and my spirituality.

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sitting in church one sunday a few years ago i felt uncomfortable, anxious, and self-conscious, so it was pretty much a sunday like any other. at the end of sacrament meeting our kind bishop stood up and said that there was a family in our ward who was having a very difficult time and that we all needed to reach out and help them. he explained that the young father had a brain tumor and he became emotional as he talked about how good and strong this family was, and how much they deserved our support.

i couldn’t stop thinking about what the bishop had said, not during the rest of the meetings, and not on the way home from church. i felt truly sorry for this family and their trials, but that’s not why i was so upset. being as introverted and caught up in my own situation as i was, i could only think of how different and yet similar my own circumstances were.

we had told the bishop a couple of weeks before that i had severe clinical depression, that it was hard for me to go to church, that lots of times it was extremely difficult for me to take care of myself and my children. we had shared this with him so that he would know that i probably would not be able to hold a calling or be a visiting teacher, because my “bad times” were unpredictable and i didn’t want to commit myself to something and then continually let other people down. i think he might’ve asked at the time if there was anything they could do for me, but i didn’t know what to ask for. the issue had never been raised again. (more…)

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Guest Post: What Spiritual Looks Like

Posted on April 16, 2008. Filed under: Mormon Life | Tags: , , , |

Originally uploaded by clyde_curtis

A thought-provoking guest post from one of our favorite commentors, G. (The artwork is by her, too!)

“It is in our extremities that we come to know God” – Unknown

In my mind, there has always been an association between spirituality and suffering. If not outright suffering, at least a life of solemnity, seriousness, and sacrifice. Being spiritual was always pretty important to me. Whether I was naturally inclined towards it or it was was the default role I fell into in my family (‘pretty one’ ‘smart one’ and ‘athletic one’ where already taken) I can’t say. This is merely how it was.

A little shy and introverted already, the perceived requirements of monastic living came rather easy. In high school I frequently stayed home weekend nights and read the scriptures while other siblings went out and partied. As a missionary I was the one who got up an hour (or more) earlier to spend extra time studying and memorizing the discussions and scriptures. Even after returning home from the mission I dressed (rather prudishly) in dimly colored second-hand skirts, a lack-luster wardrobe seeming to go hand in hand with higher thoughts. (more…)

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Guest Post: The Bird

Posted on January 10, 2008. Filed under: Family | Tags: , |

(Christi contributed this great prose poem to Postcard Poems)

My mother loves whole baked chicken, the kind you get already cooked from the grocery store. It’s good, that first night. After that you have to pick it over, lifting the greasy wings, sawing off the meat, turning it over onto its brittle ribs to scrape the back for the parts nobody wanted the first time around.

While I did this, we discussed my brother. His ways, his silences. Why his ribs stick out, why he won’t eat.(Light meat stained dark by tendons.) Mom likes to do this too, pry people open. Discover their whys, their secret parts. (Rubbery fat on the thighs. Cracked wishbone.) Why is he depressed, why isn’t he married. (Stringy arteries that get in the way. Grainy marrow.) Why sometimes he talks too much, why sometimes he wants to die.

She laughs, I think to lighten the mood. “What.” I say.
“You’ve seen me do this so many times, now it’s your turn.”
“What?” I say again.
“To take apart the chicken,” she says. Oh, I think. I try not to think about it too hard. The carcass, its cooked muscle. The bird it used to be.

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Winter

Posted on December 20, 2006. Filed under: personal notes, Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

I don’t like winter. At the first hint of changing leaves in the fall, although I try my best to appreciate all the splendor of nature, a faint feeling of dread begins to settle into my bones. The brilliant colors also mean that the leaves are dying and will soon be gone. As for what lies ahead –the long hours of darkness, the bitter cold, the icy sidewalks, the gray skies– I just don’t cope very well. The ground freezes. Plants die or go dormant. In the life-death-life cycle, winter is death. The hustle and bustle of the holiday season wards off the harsh realities of winter for a time, but the New Year comes and goes and I’m still left with long months of winter stretching interminably ahead.This year I have a goal to approach this season with a new perspective. What lessons can Lady Winter teach me when she blows in with her blankets of snow? Winter can be a time to be quiet, to meditate. When the chill chases me indoors, perhaps I’ll use that time to look inside myself. While the plants die and the ground takes a rest from supporting growth, I’ll let some less useful habits and parts of myself die. I’ll curl up with a good book and relax without feeling guilty for not being more productive. I’ll let winter teach me that there is a time to lay fallow. There are seasons and cycles in life. The earth shows me that even the bitterest cold eventually gives way to warmth and the darkest of clouds will part and let the sun shine through. It also shows me there is a time and a place for the cold and dark. Here’s hoping that this year rather than sinking into depression, I can see the quiet beauty of winter and be open to learning nature’s lessons.* Artwork is “Lady Winter” by Odessa Sawyer

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