In Which The Feline Exits the Fabric Containment Item

My brother posted this picture of Bruno Catalano’s sculpture (from Facebook’s “Berlin-artparasites”) months ago and I’ve never really stopped thinking about it. It’s the perfect visual representation of a feeling I know well. Incomplete but Moving Forward. A huge gaping hole right through the middle of a person. Vacant.
When I asked my brother to send the picture to me again, I had forgotten the context, the word of the day that went with it: Hiraeth (noun) A homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, a home which maybe never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the lost places of your past.
The K Dramas are a part of my processing mechanism now. I suppose it could have been anything at this point, but this is the way it turned out. The story has to be translated for me. My own life has to be translated for me. I love listening to the soundtracks to the shows–I have no idea what they are saying, but I remember the scenes they were playing in and I can make them say whatever I want. And I can hear the emotions. The emotions are clear. Even if I have no idea what my own emotions are, I can at least have theirs for a little while.
About two months ago, Sam hurt his back. To the extent that he can barely walk and has to lay on the couch 95% of the time at home. He is all but helpless, Lord love him. Also about two months ago, I lost all capacity for mercy and understanding. His genuine groans and authentic difficulty in moving himself around the house resulted in his asking me for, ya know, help and stuff.
“Could you please bring me an icepack?”
“Sure.” (ugh. I have to get up again.)
“Can you help me get my laptop out of the backpack?”
“In a minute.” (I’m never going to finish this episode.)
“ARRRGH! Bring me the heating pad! QUICKLY!”
(He could have asked nicely. Jeeze.)
“Could you please get me a glass of water so I can take my pill?”
“Yes.” (You incomprehensible jackass.)
“I’m sorry, but I can’t get my socks on.”
(Well, I can’t seem to eat my brownie without interruption. We all want stuff…)
I am a terrible TERRIBLE person. I feel pretty terrible–tired and ill and weak. I look terrible–never one to be praised for her porcelain complexion, this is an entirely new eshalon of acne. I AM terrible. The Wild Things would make me their Queen. I don’t like the Crazy, but I don’t know how to not be that way most of the time.
This is the part where we all gasp: I’m pregnant. Like, for real pregnant. But the kind of For Real Pregnant that I still can’t acknowledge fully because if I do that means I have something to lose. I don’t know when it will be officially ok for me to be happy and excited. It seems like such an irresponsible and reckless way to operate. So much could go wrong. At any point. I’m “old” now. {The King Doctors of Wherever have actually changed the category of 35 year old women and older from “mothers of advanced age”–which was bad enough– to “ELDERLY mothers.” Cuz THAT makes us hormonally annihilated women feel much better…} But I shouldn’t live in fear, right? My current emotion is incomplete. Not sure how to feel. Still cautious. Still scared. Still hopeful. Still mostly numb.
I just watched Banquet of the Gods. Here is a little K Drama metaphorical question rolling around in my head in case I am asked for some ridiculous reason to write a paper on it: (Cuz like I said–CRAZY)
Which Inju am I? The Real Child Inju–Lost, scared, confused, and helpless; the Imposter Inju–terrified, constantly on guard, forced to pretend she is someone she’s not, made into a little bit of a freaking monster capable of horrible deeds; or the Inju Who Has No Idea She Is Inju–feeling the absence of a family she can’t remember, reliant on her own strength and wit, constantly misunderstood, and torn between exposing the truth which could hurt other people and living a lie at the expense of her own happiness? (Admit it, you’re intrigued. Go watch it on It’s awesome.)
Real Child Inju Christina is rare. We haven’t seen much of her since the theft/miscarriages/move. But the thought of wandering about aimlessly while crying and clutching a large teddy bear is sometimes very appealing.
Imposter Inju Christina is a real shrew. Incapable of letting her guard down, snappish, selfish, looking for an excuse to go Viking on someone if for no other reason than to distract herself from the yawning chasm of fear spreading through her middle. We see a bit more of this one than we’d like.
Inju Who Has No Idea She Is Inju Christina feels the absence of her family most acutely. It doesn’t seem to matter much that it’s been more than 17 years since I’ve lived at home. I feel like the Scarecrow in Wizard of Oz–“They took my arms and they threw them over there! Then they took my legs and they threw them over there!” My brother is over there, my other brother is over there, and my parents are over there!
My mom just left after a wonderful visit. I hadn’t seen her in almost a year. I can now say that I’ve been homesick nearly half my life. Which is kind of silly since I’ve never actually lived in this magical place that I seem to miss. The home my parents live in now is one in which I only spent a few summers. In the past 10 years I’ve been married, I’ve lived in 8 places. It’s the proximity to my family that I miss. Being able to just meet at the mall, celebrate birthdays TOGETHER, or have them over to dinner in a fantasy of mine. And the underlying anxiety about all this is: Does that mean my OWN family is chopped liver? (#1: Ew. #2 God Forbid) Of course not. But I can’t help feeling the incompletion when I see grandparents with kids at the playground or my friends say they are meeting their mom for lunch or having their dad come over later to help them change a flat tire. Once a girl in our group had to excuse herself because her brother called and needed her to bring something to his office and I was so jealous that I might have made a face.
For three months I have stifled any hint of excitement. There will be no relaxing. We will remain vigilant. We will promptly freak out at the slightest pain or odd feeling. And then I heard the heartbeat. And saw an ultrasound. And you can’t argue with that. Plus, and the technician was so pleased to have captured it, he is in there, one arm behind his head, legs crossed, hanging out like he’s on a deck chair along side the frikken Riviera. Just as relaxed as he could possibly be. “That makes one of us,” I thought. I just told Malcolm and Bella about him. Malcolm has named him “J.D.” I could not tell you why. Bella is selecting those of her toys she is willing to let him play with. They’ve already asked how he’s going to get out. Oh God. I haven’t spent any time preparing an adequate response for that one. In fielding their questions and comments I feel like I’ve come up out of the water. Not quite “Ariel style” with the hair flip, more like a shipwreck victim after swimming a safe distance from the disaster. It’s real. And it’s good.
There is a home I can’t ever return to, and I’ll probably continue to feel the loss of that security and grieve the place I occupied in my youth. Yet, I know that I’m not really meant to stay in that place. I was supposed to move on and ultimately I realize that is best. It’s my turn to make a home for my kids that will nurture and surround them with a love and comfort that they will remember their whole lives. And that doesn’t mean it’s all over for me, the kingdom is lost etc. I just have to find my new place.
family rauh
This is where I come from. Who I am at my core. What I miss desperately. No longer surrounded, but no longer necessarily needing to be so.
family fishburne
This is who I’ve become. A physical representation of my capacity to love and the level of my perseverance. No longer on my own.
baby boy
Then there’s this guy. While I’m wringing my hands, pacing around, brutally conscious of every twinge, scrolling through endless worse case scenarios, he’s in there doing this. How can we be occupying the same space? One of these attitudes has to go.
first day of second trimester
This is me at this moment. Still feeling the hireath, yet no longer vacant.

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