Adventures in making and raising our test-tube babies

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day

Sunday was Mother's Day, and started with a phone call from a stranger. He had the wrong number, but before he hung up he said, "Happy Mother's Day anyway." Now what kind of kizmet is that? Cruel kizmet.

Many of you know that our pregnancy test was negative. I tried to keep that a secret, but I can't do it. As our story continues, and I continue to write about it, I can't omit that part.

This weekend James and I went away for a pottery weekend. The Blue Ridge Pottery studio is run by a father (used to be an architect), and his daughters run a B&B, some cabins, and maybe a ranch house that you can rent. Guests can buy a package so they get the accommodation and pottery classes. We went a few months ago and made some bowls and cups and other pieces. We went back this weekend to glaze them.

On Sunday morning we had glazed our pottery and I'd gotten my Mother's Day phone call, and I was ready to go home. But when we went to tell the pottery teacher that we were heading out, he gave us another option. He said he had noticed how great a relationship we had. We were so loving and considerate, and it was a pleasure to be around us and see it. The day before, when he'd asked if we had children, and I said no but trying, he had picked up on the infertility thing. He and his wife had tried for five years before they had their first daughter. So Sunday morning, for Mother's Day, he thought we should do a "process piece" together. It would be a narrative wall-hanging to symbolize our relationship, our life together, and the joint life we were seeking to bring into the world. He thought it would be a great exercise at the intersection of emotion, visual art, and (pro)creation. He gave us suggestions throughout the day, and we had a great time with it.

James and I talked about what we wanted the piece to be about. We wanted it to symbolize our life together. We started thinking about what that would entail. It would have reference to cooking and chemistry on James's side, languages and travel and sewing on my side. And of course our cat. The backdrop would be our house that we bought together a year ago this week. And in the front would be the walkway that we bought, the first do-it-yourself project we did for our new home. That's a good metaphor. So Alun points to the center and says, "So where is your baby? Where is what you want to create?" For that, we made a spiral in the middle of the piece, radiating outward.

When Alun saw the spiral, he got excited because the spiral is such a powerful symbol in ancient ruins. It has everything to do with life, the universe, and everything. He gave us an archeology and mythology lesson about it, and asked where we got it. I said, "I made it up. It must have come from my DNA." He beamed. James and I had liked the spiral because it radiates outward, starting with something small and becoming wider and more encompassing, like an embryo becoming a baby. At the same time, the spiral starts with the whole universe and pulls it all in, all of our influences and histories, into James and me together into one home, one family, and maybe one new life.

We love Alun. And we think he's an amazing businessman. Because you know we're going to have to come back for another weekend to glaze our new piece.

By the way, we highly recommend his establishment: The first time we went, we stayed at the B&B and loved it. This time we were in one of the cabins, and from our windows we saw an unequalled mountain panorama, some bunnies, and two beavers playing around by the log-cabin shed. Seriously!

On another note, I like to steal everything my friend Ashley puts on her blog. She had a link to this story about "Secret Mother's Day" from an Austin newspaper. It's a really nice story about infertile women on Mother's Day:


Laughing4Heir said...

Maybe the spiral also signifies the coiled umbilical chord of your eventual baby.
Either way, it's cool to know you've got ancient symbolism encoded into your DNA! That's a pretty piece of pottery, there.

Anonymous said...

That is such a cool thing you and James did together! I love pottery/clay...I almost majored in it in college. :) I think I used to sell clay to the Blue Ridge Pottery Place when I worked at a Clay manufacturer.

Can't wait to see it glazed!


DAVs said...

Nice job on the pottery! What a mushy, gushy couple you two are :) I mean that only in the nicest way, and can easily admit my own mushy, gushiness too...and perhaps even a tad bit of codependency!

Kay Bailey said...

Who, us?

Polka Dot Creations said...

What an excellent experience that must have been! I can only imagine how special that finished piece is going to be for you, knowing that you made it together, and infused it with such meaning. I'm sorry about your bad news, but I'm still thinking good thoughts for you!