welcome, 2013

Posted by Mara on January 19, 2013

Hey y’all!  We’ve crossed over–and we’re already almost a month into the twelve we’ve got in 2013!

With the new year, I’d like to welcome my littlest nephew…

Luciano Emmanuelle HunzekerHesed was born on Dec.30th, 2012.  That baby came out of my sister weighing 10 full pounds!  And he is a real cute baby Italian.

Of course I’ve only met him through Skype at this point.  We’ll be making a sojourn to San Fran next month probably.  But for the moment, the little family is all well and enjoying Felicity’s husband’s paternity leave.

Speaking of leave, Hand Drawn by Mara is still sort of unofficially on leave (because not much can happen without Felicity).  And she’s up to her elbows now with these 2 little boys she birthed.  BUT we’d still love to hear from you if you have thoughts or needs.

Meanwhile as we gradually get back to full swing, I’m going to use the rest of this blog to post a short piece that I wrote in my other life as a yoga teacher.  I read this in a super cool Evening of Readings at the end of last year.  And since it’s a lot about babies, and that’s mainly what we’ve got going on right now, I’m going to share it here:


Zoe asked me to participate in this reading, and naturally I said Yes…having nothing to read.  So I’m writing a thing to read.

She contacted me weeks ago, and I knew I had nothing to read and would have to write a thing to read, and somehow I just didn’t.  Until tonight (2 nights before the reading)…

When I was an actor in Seattle, I used to do this annual Theatre Festival called 1448.  The idea was that a group of writers, directors and actors would present 14 plays in 48 hours.  So basically the writers would write all night, then the directors and actors would have like a day to throw the thing up–which is occasionally what it resembled.  And yet the audience turn out was always huge!  There was a lot of beer and adrenaline involved in these events, and maybe not a lot of inspiration.  But what the people loved to see was the raw performance–they wanted to see us lose a line and have to flail a bit.

That is what I somehow felt would be best for tonight.  Something raw.  And flailing.

Brad Warner and I hatched a plan whereby it might be cool for me to go up with a newspaper, read it, silently, for 6 minutes, then thank everyone earnestly and sit down.  That might have been more enlightening than what I’ve decided to do, which is to write something totally honest and raw and read it, aloud, while Brad and everyone else is stuck there listening.

I will add that part of my waiting to write this thing was simple unavoidability.  You see, I have a 1-year-old child.

I’m mainly with the babe and my boyfriend is mainly the breadwinner, but since we’re both freelance, it’s fluid.  Being self-employed for pretty many years now, and in fact never having held down a full-time job, my sense of time is kinda loose to begin with.  But it is interesting with a baby how time becomes a whole different thing than it was.

You really have no time to do anything.  I used to have to discipline myself to get work done or go to yoga or finish a project, or all three on a good day.  Now these are luxury items, relegated to naptime and post-baby-bedtime.

And yet…in a way you have all the time in the world, because what are you really doing all day?  Taking walks, reading books, eating snacks, singing songs, talking, looking, listening.

I heard Mary Oliver speak at UCLA a few years back.  And one thing I remember her saying was she got a comment from a fan about how nice it must be to be so wealthy that she could just sit around and look at nature all day (because her poems tend to be a lot about nature).  And she was like I beg your pardon, and vehemently expressed that she had in fact sacrificed a great deal materially and personally in exchange for the time she spent alone with nature.  And why?  Because it seemed like that was an important thing to do.  This was, of course, before she won the Pulitzer.

But that’s sort of how I feel about my days with my baby.  Which occasionally seem tedious and redundant, and lonely sometimes, and fiscally unsound pretty much all the time—but it seems important.

It’s worth the sacrifice to get to watch him learn everything in the world, thing by thing.  Though watching a baby is a bit like watching nature–phenomenal, yes, awe-inspiring, yes, boring, oh yes!  How many times you wanted to be like Move It Along, People!  But you have to remind yourself to stop and go slow.  He’s exploring and there are a million things we take for granted knowing that he has to learn.

He had to learn how to chew food, for instance, and how to get it to his mouth, and next how to get it there with the use of a utensil.  He’s learned to walk and even run, and now he’s starting to learn to walk and run around things in front of him instead of just trampling over everything in his path and usually tripping.  He’s learning to talk, but before words, he’s learned incredibly clear ways of communicating with gesture and tone.

He’s learning to love too.  The other day I was crying, and he stopped what he was doing and looked at me for a long moment.  Then he came over and gave me a hug and a French kiss.  His kisses have evolved from head butts to open-mouth-with-tongue.

It’s moments like these that make all the times you wanted to eat sushi while you were pregnant and didn’t worth it.  All the times you were hungry for that matter, but fed him first; you were parched, but he was breastfeeding…worth it.  In fact all of your comforts, your personal likes—getting a full night’s sleep comes to mind—or dislikes—poop, say—these natural human tendencies are subjugated to the whims of a tiny, little baby.

All of the things you once were, your entire ego is crushed by this beautiful, perfect creature.  Your clothes don’t fit right because your body has undergone such trauma, but it doesn’t so much matter because you haven’t showered and you’ve got like bits of banana and snot all over you.  And who cares anyway, no one’s looking at you when you’ve got this little ray of sunshine in your arms.

I took a picture of myself the day that I lifted the baby up overhead, like oh cutey baby, and he chose that precise moment to puke.  In case I’m ever tempted to try to collect the shards of my shattered ego and piece them back together again, I have that photo of myself looking utterly beleaguered with puke running from my hairline down my forehead to remind me what enlightenment looks like.

But even that, even when he peed and somehow shot it into my mouth and I did not have a sense of humor about it at all..!  Even when he’s cranky and squirmy and fussy and dreadful and impossible…you’re still not sure that he isn’t actually you.

You see yourself in him and your lover so beautifully in him.  You’re mirrors of each other.  And you can see somewhere way deep inside the other.  Because he lived inside of you, and he knows you inside out, literally—and you loved him so completely even before the first moment you saw him, through the morphine and the fear.  And you knew your heart was now going to be running around outside your body, because there he was on the planet.

And through this, I have begun to understand Union.

Patty used to always say she was a teacher of Asana, not Yoga, because she could fathom the physical part but all the other bits seemed intractable.  I think she’s teaching yoga now needless to say.  But I’m feeling just the opposite these days, like I’m not sure I know the first dang thing about asana.  But on some level, I feel like I’m beginning to understand something about the Life parts of yoga.

It helps that I have a very cute Guru.  And probably that he can’t talk yet.  That’s good too.

It so happens that this was a good night to get to writing.  As it is raining outside.  These are the final lines from the poem by Mary Oliver called “Last Night the Rain Spoke to Me”:

Imagine! Imagine!

The long and wondrous journeys

Still to be ours.



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