Monday, January 09, 2006

Nightmares, Babies, and Real Food

Dear Reader,

It is 4 am and I just woke up from a dream. I only remember a tiny snippet, but dang if it isn’t a theme that’s repeating nightly. In tonight’s (this morning’s) snippet one of my Aunties was saying “You can’t grow a baby on supplements, you have to eat Real Food.” Some part of me, that wasn’t involved with this dream said, “What?” real loud and woke me right up. I sat right up thinking “What the . . .” and put my hand down where my belly used to be before I got so skinny. I thought, “Naw, it can’t be.”

Menopausal celibate women (or men for that matter) seldom turn up pregnant. Since the first two or even three descriptors belong to me, I don’t have much to worry about. (But then if the forth manly descriptor belonged to me I wouldn’t have anything to worry about . . . or wait a minute, maybe I definitely would . . .)

I have been dreaming variously that I am pregnant, nursing a baby, giving birth, or parenting a very young child. The thought is terrifying. I am still trying to recover from a bad car accident I was in almost a year ago. I have a long way to go. At this point the medical authorities seem to think I am permanently, totally disabled. My body is about as crunched up as you can get and still be walking around looking fairly normal. I don’t feel good. I can barely lift 2 pounds, and I used to lift weights for fun. Packing a baby around would do me in.

To top off the crunched up body, literally, I have brain damage. (I am not really complaining here, not about my body or my brain. I could be in a wheel chair, or a vegetable, or dead. Really I am grateful, don’t get me wrong.) I miss my brains. My thought processes barely resemble what they used to be. But life is going on.

I used to have these things that the docs say are definitely not seizures. Over the last year they have diminished to the point that most other people would not call them seizures either. It is almost as if I have an automatic pause function installed in my brain. Right at the specific moment where it is pretty dang important to respond – I stall out. Remember those reel-to-reel movies they used to show us old fogies back when we were in school? Every once in a while they would miss feed and the moving picture would suddenly stop. My pause dysfunction is a lot like that. Except I am the only thing that stops – the rest of everything keeps on going.

I’ll give you an example. The other day I was trying to get the dogs in the back yard, and they kept escaping – one at a time. Then things got a little out of hand. Two of them were out and one of them decided that now was a good time to pick a fight. It was all grrrrr and flashing teeth. Right when I needed to do something I couldn’t. P a u s e . . .

Used to be when I hit those overload places I blanked out. That was kind of blissful while it was going on, and disturbing when it was over. Now instead of blanking out I am painfully aware. Aware that I now have three dogs running and bouncing around within 6 feet of my body, any two of which definitely out weigh me. Aware that if I don’t snap out of it and kick some well muscled rear flanks they might decide to bloody each other up. Aware that one of the busy bodies on the “Neighborhood Watch Harvest Program” is probably observing me - frozen and ineffectual - and may be relaying a blow by blow account on the phone to some other busy body. “Harvest is out there right now and those creatures she keeps for pets are running totally a-muck and she is just standing there. Why doesn’t she do something? I am sorry Dear; I have got to go. I must call the landlord right now and let her know how irresponsible that woman really is.”

All right, I admit it, this time I am imagining it. It is winter and everyone’s windows are closed. But I have actually over heard one of these busy bodies giving a report by telephone, of all things, about what I was wearing to work in the garden. And the landlord has, on occasion, sat me down to have serious discussions with me about the Neighborhood Watch Harvest Program’s reports.
I am on pause. All of this is going on in my head, the dogs are bouncing around like a circus act that seems to be threatening to go very wrong, and I am on pause. I can’t fricken move. And by doctoral decree I am not having a seizure. Ya know, you have to shake around or twitch or go blank brained or fall down for it to be a seizure. And even though I used to do all of that at moments like these, they weren’t seizures then either. Go figure.

So, the idea of having a baby is straight up terrifying. Not only do I pause; I forget what I am doing, while I am doing it. I wouldn’t be able to lift the poor thing, I might freeze up if it really needed me, and if it crawled off for a nap in some corner or another, I would probably forget it even existed. Thank goodness I am celibate and menopausal. That seems to be pretty good insurance against pregnancy. At least at the moment. At least in the real, rational, waking world.

I think all of this dreaming of babies, potential babies, birth and so forth has more to do with recreating my life, with newness, rebirth, renewal, and continuance than actually reproducing. I am deeply involved with fashioning a new life. Right now my life does not vaguely resemble its former self. I can not think in the shadow of how I used to think. But I try to commune with the soil of the garden on a daily basis. And I am made new. I am healing. It is a slow process. I may never resemble my former self. And that is just going to have to be OK.

Real Food. There is the real food that feeds our bodies. The real food that feeds our souls. There is the real food from the garden that I admire and aspire towards. Then there is the real food that the Auntie in that dream was lecturing me about. The real food that I can not eat; food that is high in protein, B vitamins, and iron, like whole grain bread, beef, beans, nuts, eggs, dairy, and soy. I used to enjoy eating all these things, but I became so ill with my migraines that they about finished me off. By serendipity I discovered that I lacked an enzyme that most people use to break down a common food chemical. Amines are part of the nutrition most people rely on. For me they are poison. Amines concentrate in aged, stored, and processed food. My chronic migraines brought me back to the garden, and the real food I am able to grow with my own hands has been a part of my healing. Not just from migraines.

After the accident I had to teach myself how to pull weeds. My hands did not automatically do anything. Each movement had to be premeditated and plotted. To a certain extent that is still true. I am still working on fine motor control and eye hand coordination in the garden. Yesterday I sifted some compost, spread it out on one of my raised beds, and then sprinkled the bed with a mix of mustard, turnip, radish, lettuce, and parsnip seeds. I also made a wreath on a base made from some long shoots from one of my young plum trees. I wove around that with some flowering alder boughs and finally worked in some winter sprigs of wild rose with nice red hips and some of the mature and immature seed heads from my tobacco plant. It took way too long, and the results are not professional – but I can do it.

It is a new life. And it is good enough.

Dear Reader, I am going back to bed before the sun comes up. A little later today I hope to pack up some seeds to donate to a community garden on the Rosebud Indian Reservation. Perhaps if you have some extra vegetable seeds you would like to make a donation too. They are pursuing real food and new lives. We can help them in this small way and it will be good enough. Just ask, and I will pass on the contact information. Wish me sweet dreams!

3 comments:

Peta de Aztlan said...


Hola Again Hermana Harvest~

Dreams often reveal our subconscious. Creativity also has its own birthing process. May you have many children!

Special Blessings, Peta

P.S. I have my blog to allow all comments. Where there is faith there is not fear.

Even if a fool posts a crude comment you can always delete it and it is interesting to see what kind of minds are out here in cyberspace.
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beverlee said...

Harvest, thank you for bravely venturing out in cyberspace at large in this forum.

Peta, thank YOU for those comments. How observant, "creativity also has its own birthing process..."

-beverlee

Harvest said...

Hi Peta & Bev,

I apperciate your comments, and I want to tell you something interesting. Since I posted that blog about the dream - they have stopped - or at least stopped waking me up, and that's a good thing.

And by the way Peta, I have this internet stalker - harrasser - and if she could post here unmoderated she would spend the day doing so, with about 10 different names and ID's. It is just no fun for me - so I am grateful they have the choice of moderation on the replies.