healing (the end of an era)

You may think I’m referring to the new era I hope will be ushered in with a new president — one who is intelligent and embraces critical thinking, who listens and makes well reasoned decisions, who displays grace under pressure, and inspires new hope for a better future. And I am. 

But I am also referring to the end of another era — our struggle to conceive — and the new hope of parenthood through adoption. (Yes, I can tie nearly anything to infertility. Wait for it…) 

Wednesday night we had the great fortune to see an amazing musician from West Africa as part of a local jazz festival. While I love his and other music from Mali (his home), I had never seen him play before and it was a new and different experience for us.

We were lucky to hear a talk he gave beforehand, in which he told how his traditional music has been passed down in his village for 700 years, how the player is born into it and becomes not just a musician but an ambassador, storyteller, historian, problem-solver, and sage. He spoke of the universal nature of music and improvisation, and how when he sits to play his instrument — a 21-string handmade kora harp — he is open to divine inspiration. For him, playing is truly a spiritual act and a path to god. It was a magical evening. 

He began with a simple statement: “Hello New America!” How grateful he was to witness such a historic time in the U.S., he said, as he reminded us that the whole world was watching and cheering. He thanked America for being ready to embrace such important “change.” It was about time, he said. “Thank god.”

Listening to this man speak — in his ceremonial African garb and with spirit shining through his core — reinforced everything I’d been feeling all day. I had been weepy with emotion and gratitude that such a decisive majority of Americans were (finally) ready to come together to change the course of our history. That we could reject the politics of division in favor of unity. That we could rise above small-mindedness to tackle the enormous problems we face. That we know we can and should do better. Yes we can. 

“Never looking back,” he said. “Always moving forward.” Putting the past behind is important to help “the healing.” Indeed. 

Then he played a beautiful new song he had just written hours earlier, dedicated to Our New America. As his fingers caressed his strings — just as those of his ancestors did for 71 generations before him — the gentle hypnotic melodies carried through the air as an offering, a gift. I sat there transfixed, taking in each flurry of notes. I was transported to some ethereal space and time as I felt my breath and the marginal thoughts in my mind receded. 

It was then that the full weight of his words sunk in. That which I know to be true but is still a struggle. “Never looking back,” he said. “Always moving forward.” To help the healing

Now it is mere coincidence that these past 8 years of war, corruption, secrecy and lies parallel my own struggle with infertility and loss. I first learned I could be infertile just months after 9/11, one year after the Supreme Court in an unprecedented partisan act effectively appointed W to the presidency. Since then, my body has been been invaded by five surgeries in six years and countless probings, my privacy and integrity compromised by my broken insides. I grieved my only child who I was unable to sustain. I’ve struggled with my body’s refusal to cooperate with nature and our grand plan to build our family. Despite our best efforts, nothing has worked. The past nearly five years have seen every failed attempt, every crushed dream, every lost hope. Despair.  

I have waged and lost my own war. 

As I listened to this beautiful melody dedicated to our new beginning as a nation in the global community, I felt that familiar lump in my throat. It resonated deeply and I realized that today is about new hope for us too. Healing requires forward motion. “Forgiveness is letting go of all hope of a better past,” as writer Anne Lamott has said.

Today, as our nation seeks to rebuild a new vision for a new future, so too we have new hope for our own. In looking forward to (finally) bringing a child into our lives through adoption, we must also put our past behind us. We must remember to live in the moment with an eye towards our future. I have known this since we started down this new path. But how powerful to feel it, to live it.

~ by luna on November 7, 2008.

18 Responses to “healing (the end of an era)”

  1. I too have some degree of hope for my next treatment and that motherhood might be becoming a when.

    You say it so well.

  2. Wow, Luna. Just beautiful. 🙂

  3. “Forgiveness is letting go of all hope of a better past,”

    I love it. I’m going to remember it.

  4. amen, luna. beautifully written. sounds like a wonderful and moving experience. thanks for sharing.

  5. Luna, this is a lovely and brave post. We adopted our daughter through domestic open adoption seven years ago; please email me if you have any questions or just need a shoulder!

  6. This is such a beautiful post. I am so sorry you’ve found yourself in this position, but I really do hope you’re able to heal and the adoption process goes smoothly for you.

  7. I absolutely LOVE that Anne Lamott quote, and I pause for a moment to read it every time I come over to your blog. It goes so well with one of the phrases my meditation teacher uses – “Things are as they are.” Acceptance is such hard work, and moving forward can be so daunting, but you’re right – they’re necessary for healing. May you always be granted the acceptance you need to find the healing you need.

  8. What a moving post, Luna. Although we cannot begin to move forward until we have mourned what we have lost, letting go of our past hopes and dreams is an extraordinarily difficult thing to do. But I am glad that your optimism for your country’s future is also reflected in a new sense of hopefulness with regard to your own personal journey.

  9. Great post Luna – and I too love that quote. I am glad to see that you are feeling optimistic. Although we are on different paths, I too felt a sense of hope and renewal with the election results.

  10. Always moving forward… beautful.

    I’ve often considered that parallel between our nation’s eight years of turmoil and my own turmoil. Let’s hope for new beginnings, wherever they may lead us.

    A most lovely post.

  11. Amen, sister. Love those breakthrough moments. They shake us to our core in such a healing, warm way.

  12. What a beautiful post. Here’s to moving forward and healing, for all of us.

  13. Thank for sharing this wonderful moment. I love Anne’s quote as well, and it has certainly taken on greater signifance for me. The idea of “always moving forward” isn’t easy but it’s better than being saddled with past regrets.

    The upcoming change in the political landscape has lightened my heart. I hope we can embrace unity and put the devisiveness of the past 8 years behind us.

  14. hallelujah! I feel the same way. What a historic moment to be a part of and this new era of hope and change could not have come at a better time. I feel like I’ve closed a chapter and am beginning again with hopes of finally getting to start my family. It’s just a wonderful wave of positive energy and I hope it opens doors for all of us!

  15. A gorgeous post. I’m so glad you had that moment. And so honored to be witness to your journey forward from here.

  16. That’s just beautiful.

  17. incoming link:

  18. […] wasn’t just the election, either. It was about finding our path. Not wasting any more time. Healing from the wounds of infertility and making peace with the deep scar it has imprinted on our […]

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