Saturday, November 28, 2009

New York missive no 62 - New life

The stone lions outside New York public library are rather refined compared to the thick-set ones in Trafalgar Square. Their haunches stick up high and their faces have poise. They look as if at any moment they could spring off their pedestals and go for a stroll down Fifth Ave.


In the middle of the ice rink at Rockefeller Plaza was a plump woman wearing purple leggings and a tight-fitting orange sweater. She didn’t look like an ice skater. But there she was, gliding, twirling, slicing, so graceful in her element.


A fabulous poem from WS craft class, by Robinson Jeffers


It nearly cancels my fear of death, my dearest said,
When I think of cremation. To rot in the earth
Is a loathsome end, but to roar up in flame – besides, I
am used to it.
I have flamed with love or fury so often in my life,
No wonder my body is tired, no wonder it is dying.
We had great joy of my body. Scatter the ashes.


I shouldn’t have poems about death on my mind at the moment though, as I’m four months pregnant. It’s funny how this is such a common experience but still such an utterly magical one. Things that I felt I was juggling and not focusing on before have in a bizarre way become easier, like everything has settled into a calmer place. Come mid-May that calm will of course be disrupted by small-hours baby cries but that’s ok. And while I say some things have become easier to get done, that’s not to say extreme absent-mindedness isn’t one of my side effects. The other day I found a dish-cloth that I’d left, for some reason, in the fridge door. And I keep wandering around our apartment looking for things I put down just a minute ago. I say “our apartment” – C and I moved to Astoria a couple of weeks ago having found after a couple of day’s hunting a rare thing: SPACE near the city that we can afford, just about.

I’ve had amusing moments like standing in the elevator at work with two other people, thinking to myself “little do you know there are actually four of us in here” (kind of). And speaking to a monosyllabic woman at the health insurance company in order to “authorize” my pregnancy. Wasn’t it a bit late for any kind of authorization? And who was the health company to be authorizing it or not? “Name?”, she asked, “Date of birth?”, “Place of delivery?” (as if talking about a Fedex package), then, “normal pregnancy?”, “normal birth?” (as if I could know that yet).

I've also had a bizarrely intense fascination with living things, especially in the early stages through a haze of queasiness. Like watching squirrels in Union Square, or flocks of tiny birds on the High Line. I intend not to overload Ewiny with yumsy-mumsy things though, instead just bring this new experience into the mix. Nor do I intend to post any sonogram images, which seems to be the new fad on Facebook.

C and I are wondering how many other Dominican-American-British kids there are. However many, there’s a high chance they’re in New York.


My other bit of life-changing news is that C and I are now engaged, after a highly romantic proposal in a little hut, by a lake, in Central Park surrounded by Autumn leaves.