The Birth Story: Part One

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I’m at the clinic awake in the night listening to the sounds of my little infant son sleeping next to me in his berceau and thinking about the events of the last few days.

Too tired to tell it all at once, so I’m going to do installations. We are doing well -thank you to everyone who has sent their congratulations over the last day!

The day before the Event: my beautiful circus friend came to visit me from the ship I used to work on, the Equinox.

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Equinox was dry docked in Cadiz, Spain for repairs, and since Ariana is an acrobat/contortionist/performer in the incredible cirque-style performances on board, she had no work duties and decided to come visit me in the last week before I was scheduled to give birth.

I met her at the train station. She had on purple arm warmers and there were owls printed on her backpack. It was so good to see her! She laughed and said I had a French accent. And she told me about her seat mates on the train from Barcelona.
“They work for NASA! They talk to the astronauts on the Space Station! Can you believe it?” I couldn’t. This seemed marvelous to me, that there were real people who talked to other real people floating in a tin can, watching the sunrise from outer space. It was beautiful to think about.

We walked to the Place de la Comedie. We went for crêpes, bought sketchbooks and looked at the thick handmade paper at the art store, walking around the beauty of Montpellier. We talked nonstop. I let her feel my belly and the baby moved for her, and her face was full of amazement ; in retrospect, it’s true that he was moving strangely that day…

We wound up killing most of the afternoon in a vintage toy store looking at kites and masks and old strange tin windup toys and butterfly wings, sitting on the floor next to Guatave Klimt picture puzzles and circus dioramas, pressing our noses against glass display cases shaped like space shuttle portholes at ancient magic tricks and windup toys. We talked nonstop. It was wonderful. Life felt very full and complete.

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Later that evening, with Mathieu at the old ninth century crumbling castle near us in the garrigue: He packed a bottle of rosé and a little glass jar full of spicy olives…and Ariana, being an acrobat, climbed up the knobby lichen covered stone walls like a cat.

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After returning home, Mathieu split to
go watch a football game at his friend’s house. Ariana and I cooked wild rice and greens and drank tea and good chocolate and talked into the night, and made plans to visit the gypsy chapel of Black Sara in Saintes-Marie-de-la-Mer the following day. She curled up while we were talked and fell asleep mid-conversation under the Mexican blankets on the couch, head full of astronauts and babies and French toy stores and castles overlooking ancient vineyards…and I headed upstairs to sleep, myself. I was exhausted from walking so much, so I figured it would be easy to slip into unconsciousness, and it was.

At one thirty in the morning, the first contractions started.

to be continued…

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4 thoughts on “The Birth Story: Part One

  1. …and I can see unrolling and unfolding the most marvelous illustrated stories, to be published and promulgated throughout the world…with the protagonist Nolan et son mama et pere….xo

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