Doula life and birth stories

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Back to the town where I was born

Free stock photo of sign, dangerous, travel, station
I'm rattling through the dark old brick tunnels of London's underground system, looking at my reflection in the window opposite.  My mother would have made this journey from the pub where she worked to the dingy flat she inhabited alone during the short few months we spent together as one.  The rattling crazy hurtling of the tube would have felt the same, that sucking vital movement of the blind speeding train.  The hot breath issuing from the tunnels, the impersonal anonymity of the crowd, that smell, the Victorian tiles and filthy floor.  It would have been the same for her, and, curled inside her, for me also.

My life story began here.  Now I'm back, travelling these same lines, hospital visiting my friend. He's pleased to see me, and I eat his lunch.  He is stoical, he doesn't think too hard about the future.  I tell him about the enormous shift that is happening within me, the realisation I have had that the first breath is where we take in everything around us, and the exhale is where we go from there.  The message that its not safe, that unhappiness and fear are all around, is the starting block for the trajectory of my life.  I need to go back and adjust that, but I've only just learned to exhale.

He gets it.  One time, way back in time, in the silent womb-like void after love, he held me like a baby, and in the dusk his eyes were like the eyes of my father.  I was loved, and safe, it was safe to be me.

All too soon its time to go. I need to avoid rush hour, I'm too old to stand all the way home, my womb might fall out.  I watch the countryside rush past, the same places that my dear old dad would have commuted past for thirty years of his working life.  On the same tracks. Working for me and mum, providing for us, before dying too young.  I'm looking forward to better times, to making hay whilst the sun still shines.
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