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Friday, March 14, 2008

Friday Blog Roundup

You know when you need to write about something that you're having a difficult time putting into words and you end up walking away from the computer several times and wandering through the kitchen and coming back to the screen. And the words still don't come easily. Tina and I have been talking about an idea.

It is about the loss rocking our community as of late.

The Buddhist in me has rewritten her personal 8-fold path to include perfect inclusivity (which one of Siddharta's steps I chucked out to make room for inclusivity shall remain nameless). I hate the idea of anyone ever feeling outside the circle; and perhaps that comes from having spent time outside the circle in other areas of life--it hurts to be excluded. It hurts to be forgotten. It hurts to see other people receiving support that you are not receiving when you need it just as badly. It hurts to want to be included and have a clique nudge you out intentionally. It hurts just as badly when the community nudges you out unintentionally. The Buddhist in me kept perfect intention. Even with that mindfulness comes mistakes. I've left people out before.

The answer, of course, is not to stop giving support if you can't give it to everyone but to simply gather greater reserves and support everyone. There are so many places in life where we can't bring a lolly to the whole group, but with support, we can delve into a limitless space and come back with small words, a show of solidarity, a visual reminder that we are thinking about the person.

There are places on the Web and within brick-and-mortar communities where lost lives are remembered. But we don't have a space where we remember our own. And what Tina and I discussed this week was two-fold: (1) the idea of someone ever feeling left out because they're not receiving the same support another person in the community received and (2) we are in this unique space to remember because we follow a person's story as intimately as is possible over the Internet (and, of course, a person shares only what they wish to share so we can never pretend to know the full story) from before the cycle begins through the death. And that, frankly, is an honour. It's an honour to be there as witness to those intentions and wishes and life. It is an honour to be present as someone processes their feelings after the death of a partner or parent or sibling.

The idea of memory, of bearing witness, is an integral part of modern Judaism and it is something that informs my focus. I never want an intention and wish and life forgotten. And it is a burden to be the sole person remembering. These people are our own--insofar as a community can exist connected only by computers. But I've seen people step out from behind the computer and met so many of the people I read about through their blog. So perhaps my definition is skewed because everyone I read is very real to me--whether I've met them yet or not. And I have full faith and conduct my reading as if I will meet them one day.

This is all a long way of introducing the idea of creating this space that Tina eloquently wrote about on her blog yesterday. And everyone who wishes to participate can weigh in with their thoughts. The idea would be to create a single candle image that comes without words that could link back to a single space to honour all the lives--children, partners, parents, siblings--that are lost within our community. Please click over after the Roundup and read the ideas she has pulled together and weigh in with your own thoughts.

I just need a longer pause before I switch gears.

The somewhat mangy baseball cap has produced a name, belched out into my hand much in the same way the Goblet of Fire announces people in Harry Potter. The most randomly picked blogger is...AMS of Our Own Creation. I know I could say this about many of the people who entered their name, but Allison could use a little sweetness right now. And it's nice to know who I am confectionarying for as I make candy this weekend. Congratulations, Allison!

And now the blogs...

In Due Time had a post called "What If You Knew You Would Never Be A Mom" that made my throat feel scratchy from trying not to cry so I can only imagine what it was like to be there for the actual conversation. Her mother couldn't understand her daughter's desire to have a child and In Due Time couldn't explain her determination. It was just a thought-provoking post.

STE at So Dear and Yet So Far had a post about magical thinking and parallel lives that made me think a lot a long after I stopped reading. It is about loss and the idea of someone else getting what you were supposed to get and being on the wrong side of the statistics time after time. A very moving post.

An IVF Story had a post about why she blogs. She wrote about wishing to keep infertility both hidden and known in the face-to-face world. "I hope that blogging will be a way of overcoming that contradiction. I want to be known and understood, while remaining invisible. I want a space to share the mad jumble of thoughts and feelings it doesn't seem right to bombard my friends and family with all the time, much as I love them and value their support. And when I read the things you all write, it comforts me to know that there are other women out there who never thought that their lives would turn out like this. There are tens of thousands of us." And I just thought it was beautiful.

Lastly, Pee-Sticks and Stones had a post titled "When My Heart Way Young (and My Ovaries Were Even Younger) " about receiving an email from an old boyfriend. She wrote: "Strangely, though, it’s less about him and more about me. A mix of both sweet longing and sad regret for my 14 year-old self. The hormonally-charged, naive girl taking that first step into womanhood... Not to mention it was a time when sex was totally for fun—and I used three forms of contraception every time because I was terrified some stray sperm was going to turn me into a teen pregnancy statistic. It’s so weird to realize how far away that time of my life has become." The post will make you dig up old photos of yourself.

To roundup the Roundup: Allison, claim your prize; community, weigh in on Tina's blog; and from me--a good weekend and hopefully sunny skies wherever you are.


A.M.S. said...

Seriously? I never win! Well, ok, in second grade I won a contest for writing a birthday card for the Jolly Green Giant (yes, the one on the frozen vegetables). This is awesome! Just for that, I'm so stealing you a rock from the rock garden at the sushi restaurant this weekend!

Now, how to get everyone together to share in the sugar binge...

DD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DD said...

I did see Tina's post earlier and mentioned that I had started a blog for remembering those lost lives at

I had started it with the idea that others can let me know if they wanted to have thier child, their pregnancy remembered there and linked back to their blog, seperated by month, each with their own candle.

I've thought about adding the names and links as I see them, but didn't know if doing that w/o the expressed permission of the blogger would be over-stepping boundaries.

I guess I need to ask that question...

Fertilized said...

As always - I think tina and your idea is Fantastic! I am glad that so many bloggers are so stinky creative and thoughtful

Fertilized said...

Oh Congrats AMS!

JuliaS said...

Hooray - lucky Allison! Emjoy! (And be sure to tell us all about how yummy it all is so we can drool along and live vicariously through your taste buds.)

I got a "treat" today anyway - the copy of "Embryo Culture" I ordered after reading all the reviews last week arrived today!


Lori said...

I wish I lived near Allison.

Delenn said...

Totally think the memorial blog is a good idea.

Pamela Jeanne said...

Great thoughts here -- early in life I developed a keen appreciation for what it feels like to be on the outside looking in...will definitely check out the link.