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Where I Met You

A guest post by Sara Weir - originally published on www.saraweir.substack.com



t was warm. It was sunny. I sat on the floor by my side of the bed. The phone rang. It was the doctor. I know it’s Friday, she said, but I didn’t want you to wait through the weekend. We had taken the genetic test earlier that week. When she’d asked for our concerns I had joked about possible long term genetic disorders. I was 36 and healthy. We all laughed.


Your baby has a 98% chance of having trisomy 21 - Down Syndrome. I didn’t hear the rest. 


When I was small I loved to watch the rain fall on the window as my dad drove our family through the city where we lived. I loved what it did to the street lamp light in the dark. Each droplet spherical but sticky, clinging to the glass for dear life. Other droplets cascaded down the sides meeting its friends, collecting them as they made their journey along the downward slope. I traced the paths they made with my fingers. The droplets became young girls like me, as they traveled they grew, stopping along the way, then racing to their lovers where they were their biggest greatest selves. Together, the lovers, left behind them a trail of little smaller children droplets who grew to find their lovers and so on. The worlds these drops of rain contained and lost, found and left behind. 


The window I stared through now held no droplets. My gaze focused no where. The doctor was still talking. I handed the phone to your dad, wiping away the worlds that fell down my cheeks.


We drove through the night, up into the mountains, your dad, your two brothers, two sisters and me. It was cold at the cabin. Your dad lit the fire. The six of us curled up together there, seven including you. Some on the couches, most in makeshift beds on the floor. I placed myself in the center. Both the big spoon and little spoon, sandwiched between your brothers, I reached up to hold your sisters’ hands on the couch above us. You, of course, inside my womb. The fire warmed our feet. Wool blankets tucked under our chins. Breathing slowed into slumber as limbs grew heavy beside me. I listened to the soft crackle of the fire. It was too big. This thing the doctor told me. It was too big to hold or see or know.


I rose and collected a small neglected paper notebook from my bedroom. Pen in hand I sat on the stone hearth. It was still cold. The heat of the fire kissed my cheek. My hand hovered above the paper. I stared at the blank page. To begin would open a door to a place I did not know, to a place I did not want to go. Though, I suppose, it was too late.


So I wrote. 


My hand never stopped. I scribbled out the fears of how this would change not only my life but the life of my children. Would they feel like their lives became all about Down Syndrome? Would it tear my marriage apart? Would my life be dictated by therapies and doctors appointments? Would I lose myself? Again and again I attempted to solve for x without y or z. 


I wrote myself through the door and in again. Words winding through the endless circles. Trying desperately to see the impossible. To know what I could not know. For peace, for the enough I was without. But I am not a seer. I only know what I know.


And then, 

two pages in I wrote, 

please live.

Quiet.

Softness.

Still.

live

I,

please live.

I want to know you.

A mother’s prayer.


From the woman who carries the child. Who wants to know her child. For the everything upon her shoulders she willingly carries to know and hold her the one who grows inside her. Live, that I may know you. Live that we might be together. Live to change the shape of everything. A creator’s prayer for the one she has no power to create and still she creates it.


Live, please live, that we, together, might know.

I turned, in my writing, to face the door I did not choose to open from the room I never wanted to be in and closed it. There was no way back, so I shut it. Stepping back completely in this room there was only darkness. Darkness for all I could not possibly see. Could not possibly know. But it was warm there. There was peace. There was you. 

And that was where I met you.


I created the image I included with these words years ago while working with a film student on the Nevada playa. On a whim I shot a roll of black and white film before her styled set up was complete. When I composed this shot I felt it in my bones, though I could not put it in words.

This particular piece of writing has taken me about a month to get right. Finally today it settled. So much so I wasn’t going to add any images. I thought they would only detract. Out of pure curiosity I opened my archives.

The very first folder, second image.

titled: Where I Met You


The art is always happening. The work is not linear.


I would love to spread the impact of Where I Met You. If you would like a print of Where I Met You please leave a comment with your email address. For $15 (the cost of ink, paper, and shipping) I will send you one. I’ll contact you privately with my venmo account. Sizes are 5x7, 8x10, 11x14, 16x20

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