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Archive for September, 2010

I have a beautiful life. I really do, and I am thankful for it. In addition to my work as a writer, I have the honor of serving women in childbirth as a doula, counselor, and educator. This work has inspired me many times, to write many things, especially poetry — and it has given me precious memories like a strand of shining pearls that I wear in my heart.

In July, I attended a birth of dear friends I’ve known and loved and cared for over the past six years. The father created two long CDs of beautiful, peaceful music for his wife’s labor. The music made it so easy to work alongside the mother throughout the hours of contractions providing support, massage, and encouragement. In the Presence, with that music, in her husband’s arms, the mother gave birth to their baby girl. I will never forget it.

This week, the family came to the reunion of our childbirth education class at my home. So many more wonderful memories from that night! One was a gift: my friends brought me a CD with music from the labor in July. I’ve been listening to it, and it has been bringing me joy.

One of my favorite songs on it is Robin Thicke’s song “2 Luv Birds.” As a bird-watcher, I appreciate how it brings together a love story with a moment of seeing: seeing two birds and recognizing them as two signs. Signs mean something more than themselves: think of the dove Noah released from the Ark, the dove that settled on the shoulders of Jesus at his baptism! Some signs are so full of meaning that we will never come to the end of meditating on them.

As a woman, I must add, I love the singer’s voice. Robin’s voice, like John Mayer’s, always sounds like an intimate whisper in the dark. So I thought the lyrics and the song itself would make the perfect poem to share today because these memories are not just for me; I want them to bring happiness to you, too.

To hear the song on YouTube, just click on:

Robin Thicke’s 2 Luv Birds

2 LUV BIRDS

She loved to fly, she ran away
from something at home, she would not say —
she needed new friends, no doors would open
she had no place to stayThen came a bird, who knew the town
who barely ever left the ground —

they saw each other, they saw forever
they both knew it right away, oh!Two love birds, two love signs
you got me going out of my mind
I love you for a lifetime
you got me going out of my mind

They had it good, not lots of stuff
not lots of money, just lots of love —
she started working, he learned to cook
somehow they made their way

Then they started flying all alone on their own
up in the sky and now they’re never ever home —
they started fighting, then it got silent
they didn’t know how to make it without each other

They’re just two love birds, two love signs
you got me going out of my mind
I love you for a lifetime
you got me going out of my mind

Two love birds, two love signs
You got me going out of my mind
I love you for a lifetime
You got me going out of my mind

Robin Thicke
from Sex Therapy (2009)

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That first birth
when I pushed myself
free of her
and burst out
into invisible air
is as lost to me
as the months I floated
in that ocean of unbroken thought.

But passing on
the birth she gave me
has made me see Mama
face to face.

I understand now
what she means when she says
she loves me:
it’s the place you get to
when you’ve pushed
to the other side of pain.

A light grew in my belly
until my husband
could warm his hands by it.
I gave our son my broken sleep,
the fists, hands, fists, hands, fists
I made when he woke me
from my dream about his name.

I gave birth to him awed
by his apple-round head
in the bright glass above my knees.
I was given new strength
when he crowned
and my blood burst
like a chain of jewels
around his neck.

Mama
was my first image of God.
I remember how she leaned over my crib,
her eyes full of sky.

Marilyn Nelson
In the Fields of Praise (1997)

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