On fear, bravery and waterfalls

I am the bravest person I know personally. And still, a part of me is so afraid…

That’s what I’m thinking the other night, unable to sleep.

Afraid of all the changes I am going through, in spite of wanting them so much. Afraid of what the future might bring, afraid of losing control, afraid of making mistakes, afraid of loss, afraid of heartache, afraid of my own body having a life of its own, beyond my control.

And right then and there, fighting through the burning sensation in the overstretched skin on my abdomen, rolling over on to my other side, it dawns on me. Being brave does not exclude being afraid. Of course I am afraid. Experiencing fear is part of human experience and absolutely no one is exempt from it. Being brave means you don’t let fear bring you down. It means you go on no matter what. It means you stand up for yourself. It means you confront your fears, you dive into them, find out their names, and pull through. And that is the only way ahead.

Being brave means having trust. An immutable trust in life to carry you further no matter what. On your own blessed path. Nothing, absolutely nothing can go wrong. There is no such thing as failure. And I have no doubt about it.

So yes, I am afraid. And I am brave enough to admit it. My most precious dream is coming true and I am more afraid than ever. The stakes are high, you see. And then, in the light of this new understanding, I tune in to my baby and feel his strong kicks in my belly. He is real. There can be no doubt about it. He has come to me. Shortly after my travel companion came. It all seemed long overdue for all three of us. So, like waterfalls, we pour into one another’s lives, swiping away everything else. Here we are.

The little prince hiding behind his fists, on the coldest hot summer day

It’s a hot day in Bucharest and I’ve arrived half an hour early for my ultrasound appointment. The clinic is right on the street where I spent my university years. So I take a walk and again I feel like a young girl visiting her grandparents in the city, on a summer holiday.

deserted garden bucharest

The dust particles stirred by occasional cars linger in mid air before deciding upon a surface to rest on after their flight. I walk by the old honey shop, where this very old bee keeper, white hair, blue eyes, wearing a sturdy white apron, used to welcome his customers into a different century as they were crossing his threshold. It’s been closed for years. He’s most probably died… I’ll always feel sorry I’ve never been in. I was just thinking I cannot afford to buy anything and was feeling guilty to go in just out of pure pleasure and curiosity. Such limitations have long been overcome by now and I prefer socializing and risk taking to regret.

closed honey shop bucharest

As always, I am impressed by wild gardens and their run down, deserted houses, where parties used to be held in the old times, love made, babies born… My own baby is squirming in my womb and I can feel his weight getting heavier by the day. Gradually his presence is becoming more and more noticeable, more and more real, albeit still miraculous in my view.

garden behind gate bucharest

The cold and sterile environment in the clinic half an hour later is making me uncomfortable and I realize I must be really nervous. My tensed muscles and shallow voice are giving me away. It’s also getting harder to focus and I start feeling like taking off. The doctor pushes the baby with her fingers and then taps on my belly, stinging me with her nails, in repeated, unsuccessful attempts to get him to turn his face towards us. He’s looking away all the time and hiding his face behind his fists. I cannot blame him.

His father, whom his profile seems to take after, is looking at the screen sitting on a chair behind the doctor, paying attention to all the details and trying to get as much of a view of his son as he can. I think he’s too far away and there should be room next to the bed so he can hug my shoulders, kiss me and hold my hand. There isn’t any, although the doctor’s office is impressive in size. Big and cold.

Later on, all three of us attend “The little prince. A show for grownups” and it dawns on me this is how our baby must feel. He’s left his world behind and is now travelling on a different planet. This is how I feel, how I’ve been feeling all my life, actually. An alien trying to establish contact with the species populating this planet, its inhabitants utterly and strangely autistic and so cold that their proximity  freezes the blood in my veins. I’m a complete stranger to these people… What am I doing here? I’ve left so many lives behind, so many identities, so many worlds… Where am I heading? Who is by my side? Who have I become?

Fourth week of sore eyes. Inside investigations

I’m looking only at You. I can see only You. I’m looking only at You. I can see only You. I’m looking only at You. I can see only You. I’m looking only at You. I can see only You.

I keep repeating it like a mantra and staring at this big painted icon hung somewhere up on a wall in an orthodox church in a monastery, on the left of a stained glass window overlooking the sea somewhere in a high place in Greece.

As I’m doing my spiritual practice, I’m tormented by his feeling of guilt as my eyes have slid from the icon to a small patch of transparent glass through which I can get a glimpse of a blue piece of the sea and the sun shining above it. For a fraction of a second I can feel the salt in the water and I can see the fish swimming and the waves rising, washing the feet of the seagulls having their breakfast. Temptation. The temptation of the world. My eyes are drawn to this small patch of transparent glass like sharks to a drop of blood in the ocean.

And then I see the temple in Cambodia and my bare feet walking along the stone corridors. Everything is sacred and I am smiling all the time. Every pore is smiling, every organ, every body part, my whole being. And I look closely at everything – every speck of dust, every petal, every leaf, every stone. Here it’s easy, I’m thinking as it all comes back to me again, filling me with pure joy.

And what is it that you think you can look at in this world that doesn’t have me in it? Is there anything you can see in which you cannot see both me and you? There is nothing in this world of which I am not a part and of which you are not a part. See me in everything. Everywhere you look discover me and discover yourself. Look without fear. Let the light flood you. Look into the light, the answer is whispered in my heart.