Tag Archives: love

My new action packed belly…

Pregnant Nude with green belly by Egon Schiele This work is in the public domain in those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 90 years or less.
Pregnant Nude with green belly
by Egon Schiele
This work is in the public domain in those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 90 years or less.

I felt it move! At Week 18, as expected, I guess…

I had a sort of movement inside before, but it felt like a vein pulsing or a bit of gas finding its way around.

But 2 days a ago, it was somewhat different. You know when someone accidentally brushes against you? I felt that inside my abdomen.

And this morning, it was definitely there! It felt like a pulse on the belly, but a little more pronounced than usual. I thought if I touched my belly, I would feel it, but it stopped. I thought we would high five each other… Maybe still too early for that.

So this is what it feels like… a slight brushing inside…

The weird thing is, I am now getting bit by bit why everyone thinks pregnancy is such a great experience.

‘Le bebe’ is in me, close to me, and we are having “quality time” that we will not be sharing with anyone else… Because no one else is in my shoes, or in my belly 😀 No one else can know how exactly it feels to be so close to another being. And to have my body as a place of dwelling, a safe enclosure for a new life, a life ideally I am going to be responsible for…

Damn, I just realized I have gone all maternal…

It also scares me to feel the attachment grow by day, considering that I will be getting the amniocentesis results in a month and I might suddenly go from an aspiring mother to… carrier of a hollowed abdomen if I may be dramatic.

I am still trying to keep it as “scientifically cool” as possible, to be prepared for all sorts of amnio results, but it is not so very easy. Especially when pregnant women, mothers with tiny babies and baby stuff are jumping at my selective perception…

Especially when people keep asking me whether I know the sex or what name we have chosen… the name we have suspended the search for until the much anticipated results are ready.

Well, I will enjoy it while it lasts. Especially my new belly… It reminds me of the days when as kids we had a balloon, how at some point it ended up beneath our shirts… And do you remember how it moved when poked? As a whole. It feels like if I poke my belly, it will move around as a whole, as if unattached to my skin…

That’s it for pregnancy news on my part for the week… Will soon be back with more “action” inside!

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After the War Part 2: She was a good mother

Madame Augustine Roulin With Baby by Van Gogh The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Madame Augustine Roulin With Baby
by Van Gogh
The Metropolitan Museum of Art

On a sunny day, on my way to the shop, I passed by the garden I admired for the lavish green it enclosed. On that day, amidst the leaves and trees, there were sorrowful faces. After so many years, the three orphans were once again gathered under the same roof. Yet this time the woman who had gathered them was in a wooden box they were carrying towards a pit in between the shrubs.

Years ago, the woman in the box had taken them in one by one and offered them a home. Now, after a long time, they were together, thanks to her.

Of the three orphans, especially the girl had left an impact on my memory. I remember clearly the day she was brought to the old woman’s house. Her large dark eyes were shining with fear on her tiny face where tears had made pathways through dried up blotches on her cheeks… on the cheeks that had known nothing but caresses until that day. She looked tired and small in worn out dusty clothes.

I probably remember her so well because of her mother.

Years ago, her mother came to my shop with red puffy eyes. I had seen her around a few times but never had a chance to start a conversation. My shop had been a popular spot the townspeople liked to frequent. They were eager to spend their newly acquired wealth on goods they had never seen before.

Once the war broke out, my customers dwindled. So did the supplies delivered to my shop and I was left with considerable time to listen to stories.

On one such day, she entered my shop with swollen eyes. I asked her if she would like to sit down. She responded with tears and her story that had brought her there. She poured out the string of events one after another with the insatiability of those who are overwhelmed by an accumulation of experiences they cannot quite make out what to do with. She needed to hear them herself by speaking them out loud.

Thus, she began talking. She had moved from her family’s home where she had spent her whole life to our town a few months ago with her husband whom she had met only a month before their wedding. At her new dwelling, in between the alien surroundings, she had to learn to share everything, from her food to her bed, with a complete stranger. So to learn, she watched. She watched this man until all terrifying strangeness about him became a source of comfort. She observed him up to the point where a new life in a new town did not appear so daunting as long as he was present.

Then, a few days ago her husband had left to join the fight and she had lost the only person she knew in this town she had moved to for his sake.

From that day on, I became her confidante for the next three years. I was there when she received news from the front. I held her hand when she found out her home town had been hit by a deadly attack. I was by her side when she came to the realization that she would not be receiving any news from the front anymore. I reassured her as gunfire approached closer day by day.

I was also there when she found out she was going to be a mother. I witnessed her joy when despite everything, she told me about her dreams and hopes for the little bean growing in her.

At a moment when she had no one left, she was eager to embrace her child, to reformulate her existence and grow roots strong enough to hold them upright whatever may strike their little family. I knew, in spite of the war, the dirt, the destruction of everything good, she was ready for her child. Despite the ugliness of fast approaching blood thirst, she wanted to bring her baby up to be aware of others, thoughtful, sensitive and with belief in a safe future.

I knew she was ready to give everything for her little child. I knew it from the way she wrapped her little baby’s hands around her fingers. I knew it from the way she considered tomorrow, and from the way she thought about years to come. I knew it from the way she held her child when her house was destroyed in an air raid and from the way she was holding her little girl when the bullet hit her. I knew it from her dried blood on her daughter’s face when the little girl was rescued from under her lifeless body.

Now, looking at the young strong woman’s sad face in the garden, standing by the grave of another who brought her up to adulthood, I cannot help but think of that friend who felt strongest holding her little daughter.

Word Count: 824

After the War Part 1: Love in a Pizza Slice

Painting by: PeterKraayvanger Source: http://pixabay.com/en/watercolour-painting-summer-flowers-75123/
Painting by: PeterKraayvanger
Source: http://pixabay.com/en/watercolour-painting-summer-flowers-75123/

Her wrinkled hands skillfully whisked the little bit of flour with ground oatmeal and water to prepare the dough for the pizza. We were three kids left at her care, each with the same expectation expressed in a different ingredient.

“I want onions!”

“I prefer carrots!”

“I like beetroot!”

All of us had chosen a different vegetable she grew in the tiny patch on what was left of her once voluptuous garden.

If she mixed all ingredients, none of us would eat anything that day and we would be hungrily whining around her until bedtime.

Were she to choose only one of the ingredients, the other two would definitely sulk complaining they were not loved enough to get the pizza of their choice.

Thus, carefully measuring with a ruler, she divided the dough into three parts, forming the Mercedes logo on the round baking tray.

She meticulously added the exact same amount of each topping, making sure to use the same measuring bowl so that none could have any reason to protest.

The baking tray holding three different ingredients on one pizza was delivered from the oven to the table we had gathered around. The smell of freshly baked dough wafted through the house after so many months watering our mouths and raising a pitch higher the rumbling in our tummies. As soon as we impatiently bit our slices of pizza, our tongues burnt and we were happier than ever.

In a time when rations were hard to get hold of, with the little she could produce, she had created a pizza with ingredients we were free to choose from. With that pizza, she had made us feel equally loved and very much valued by paying particular attention to our choices. Most important of all, by letting us know that despite everything, there was someone to answer our needs, to ensure that our share was duly noted and provided for, she had made us feel secure.

Many years later, I went back to the house. I put a scarf around my head and followed the two middle aged orphans I had shared a patch of my childhood with out of the old house where each of us had eaten a small slice of the thin bread while shards flew through the broken windows and bullets wheezed nearby.

Walking behind the wooden box, I stared at the once barren garden I used to watch with my child’s eyes. New colorful vegetable patches had been added over the years and trees had grown thick and strong yielding fruits under quiet sunny skies. In the middle of the lush foliage, while they lay the white cloth wrapped around her at the bottom of the freshly dug pit, all I could think was a yearning for a potato pizza with the aroma of onions and beetroots mixing in between every bite.

Word Count: 477

So, where was I? And where am I now?

Female Trapeze Artists
Female acrobats on trapezes at circus. Hand-colored lithograph by the Copyright by the Calvert Litho. Co., Detroit, Michigan, ca. 1890.
From the Library of Congress
[PD] This picture is in the public domain.

I was away on vacation for a few weeks, back home in Turkey, visiting, hugging and talking to friends and family, remembering what it feels like to be loved…

No, I take that back. I do feel loved now, here in Montreal, so far away from Anatolia, but being back there gave me space to err… Spending evenings with parents helped me remember the feeling of having a safety net underneath my acrobatic jumps between jobs and housing quests. It reminded me they would be there for me no matter what I did, and they would not let me fall even when I missed a swing…

Seeing my friends, observing the sincere happiness in their faces to see me, knowing that they accept me with every attractive and weird aspect of my personality gave me confidence… They embraced me and invited me to days where social anxiety was a thing that only belonged to an outside world among strangers… It gave me confidence to make silly jokes and voice experimental ideas that had not yet fully formed but needed to be pulled and tugged at to find its final shape and place in my head.

Being back home gave me confidence to reassert who I really am, without having to censure thoughts or actions in accordance with who I am frequenting.

And now, after almost two years in Montreal and more than a year at a steady job, I feel a similar fort of friends building up, though still in its preliminary stages of construction in certain ways… I feel more freedom in my moves and fewer filters before words formulated in my head become words in others’ ears. I feel greater courage in taking bold steps as I slowly bond with a small but strong group of allies.

Yet, one thing that cannot be subsidized is the safety net family offers. I have to accept this as the cost of immigrating away but it does not change the fact that I miss crowded family gatherings. Although we do not celebrate Easter holiday in Turkey, I wish I could be at my grandparents’ dinner table, waiting with cousins for our share of the chicken…

Happy Easter! Enjoy all the love you find!

No flowers for me, thanks!

The husband I have under my “jurisdiction” is a sensitive man though lacking in romantic chromosomes. The sole romantic action he has ever undertaken, apart from lending his lighter to a friend who was about to propose to his long term girlfriend, was scanning a comic I liked and mailing it to me when I went overseas.

But you see, at the time, we had been together for only four months. In other words, he still felt the need to woo me, which worked, giving me hope for future surprises…

A hope to be diminished in the years to follow.

On one Valentine’s Day, a time of the year we had never celebrated during our relationship of then four years, -since being the “intellectual” individuals we were, we saw it as a pretext for increased commercialized expenditure-, I decided I did want to obey the industrialized shopping day.

Despite my negative opinion about the day, given that we did not celebrate our relationship on any other day, I needed a change! I needed a “festivity” to show our love for each other.

So I called him on a mid February day, only to hear a woman’s voice, that of his mother.

I asked her to wake him up, which normally I would have never done and she would have never accepted. No one shall perturb her precious baby’s sleep, but she must have heard the determination in my voice, because eventually I heard his sleepy response at the other end of the line.

“Huh?”

Thus, began my instructions:

“Get up, come over here to my place. On your way, buy me a bouquet of flowers. If possible, daisies. When you get here, act like it is a surprise and say ‘Happy Valentine’s!’ when you hand me the flowers”.

Being an engineer, he did an excellent job following clear instructions.

However, when I found out the price of the damn plants, I felt terrible. Plus, the flowers died a few days later, and guilt took over.

So, we went back to no celebration…

Especially, NO flowers!!!

So far, it has worked fine. We enjoy our evenings together, watching “Walking Dead” or cooking, or simply lying at the opposite ends of the sofa, our feet touching while we surf the internet on our laptops. These give me more pleasure than any high priced flower doomed to die in a few days. I think what we are doing is spreading the heightened pleasure that lasts a single day throughout the whole year…

Or so I would like to think… 😀

PS: I am still expecting a major proposal. After five years of relationship and three years of marriage, he must have figured out what I like, right? And he can’t go wrong! What are the chances I will reject him after having officially said “yes” a long while ago?…

Written in response to WordPress Weekly Writing Challenge (http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/writing-challenge-valentine/comment-page-4/#comment-310890)

Does she miss me?

A creative writing exercise I found on http://fictionwriting.about.com/od/writingexercises/ss/handsexercise_2.htm.

Her hands were somewhat withered. You could see the veins on them and her ring finger and pinkie did not extend fully. These two were always a little bent. They had a lot of work done. Healed a huge number of people when she was working as a nurse, touched hundreds of lives when she helped women give birth as their midwife, injected many with healing medicine and took blood from myriads of patients, raised three girls, three grandchildren, cooked thousands of meals, washed clothes with soap, detergent, bleach, planted trees, vegetables, caressed cats and dogs, touched only one man sensually, bathed her mother and offspring, sewed and knitted for her children and home, washed dishes in basins and rarely placed plates or dirty cups in dishwasher, did crossword puzzles, held onto a cane, clutched my hand. Then, they felt cold. Veins were barely visible. All the power they held was washed away.

I remember very well the way she held my hand when we went to another city. She had become less independent and her trips to the world outside her home had diminished. She would either be exhausted to complete the trip or faint and end up with a huge bruise on her body from the impact of her fall. So when we traveled inter-city to visit my cousin freshly turned dad everyone was worried. I wasn’t. Maybe because I was not quite aware of her condition and failed to see how weak she had gotten or maybe because I was confident in our strong grip of each other. During our stay at my cousin’s, once she had enjoyed holding her great grand daughter for the day and it was time for the baby’s nap, we went sightseeing through the city. We walked and walked. And every once in a while, we sat down to check a dress, to have tea, to try out a café famous for its desserts but never to rest. I remember how she held my hand. How we held each other. I found love and comfort, she found strength and confidence. That is probably why when we returned home and her Alzheimer’s worsened, she began talking about our journey over and over with the same words. Sometimes with a few embellishments borrowed from other memories. In the end, the journey we went on turned out to be a journey she could not forget, one of the last adventures she would ever find the strength to embark on. A journey that reminded me how I used to feel when she held me when I was just a toddler.

It was like being far from all civilization, all responsibilities, all guilt, all sadness, all gloom and desolation. Being there, one could forget about any worries they may have had before and any anxiety that may perturb their dreams. The ground under my bare feet could carry away all insecurity. The sun shined in me, not above me and the water could penetrate through me, cleansing my body and mind. This was the serenity I felt in her care. I wonder if I ever managed to give her such peaceful sentiments? I wonder if my grandmother misses me…