I don't always do my own challenges. Oh, I usually HAVE done them but not always. This time I did though as I love free falls - mine a version of a technique taught to me by Gwen but definitely mucked about with as I can never remember exactly how she taught me.
And so I just did it. And I thought I'd share the process.
I went to page 199 and found a bit that I wanted more from. It just sort of lay there. So in this piece the protagonist, Libby, has just been helping Teesa (an aboriginal healer) air out some dance regalia. She is drawn to one of the garments and Teesa has told her it was her (Teesa's) great-aunt's and then mother's. Teesa tells her to put it on and that she can wear it to the Pow Wow they will be attending. I used the first two sentences of that and just fell with it.
Here it is:
It fit like a dream – like a glove – like a soft leather glove. Down over my slight belly and hips it went and swirled out in fringe at the right place. It was made so you could hike it up and get on a horse, I imagine. I loved it and I went inside to see myself in Teesa’s mirror and I looked…Everything after the first small paragraph is new and I found out some interesting things that I'll be able to use. Not sure how I will incorporate this but I will. I might do a few more free fall's from some of the sentences here. I think the one about stopping - about a life arrested - that I might continue with.
No, it isn’t how I looked. It is how I felt. I am allergic to all that new age hoo-ha but this was different. I was at home in this piece of elk skin. Maybe I was an elk or maybe I was young suddenly – younger than my 39 years anyway – maybe I was channelling Teesa’s mother and great-aunt. As I looked in the mirror I brushed my hands over my hips. My hands were different than my mother’s. I supposed they were from my Dad’s side of the family – squarish with flat nails and I looked at them with that weird intensity one gets now and then as if they didn’t in fact belong to me at all. My hands were strange to me – they seemed to know how to touch this garment – they knew things I didn’t. And my hips seemed different too. Well they were different – softening and spreading – getting ready for the work ahead. The joy ahead. The baby. How could I have a baby? I really didn’t think it was possible. I imagined past the pregnancy and past the birth. I knew births – I’d been to hundreds of them in my practice. But past that. As if the baby was here right now and I could hoick it up on my hip and look down and feel it there straddling me, its legs dangling, baby skin against elk skin, velvet on velvet, silk on silk.
I felt like I needed to complete something – like those dreams one has when there is something incredibly important to do – a holy task of some sort and you are filled with the light and intention of it but when you awake it disappears like the dew you thought was on the grass a moment ago. All the details disappear but the feeling of intention and urgency is still there with you. I needed to complete this and I didn’t know what it was. Our stopping, my stopping when my father left and my mother died shortly afterward and we girls had so much to figure out just to keep going and I was just being a woman, just getting my period and thinking about boys. And really look at us – four girls and only one child out of the lot of us. And we’d never talked about the why of this, my sisters and I.
Once I came upon Rosie on one of my trips home. I’d come in to her place and it was shortly after her ex-husband had informed her that he and his new wife were pregnant. I found her in the garden digging and crying. She wouldn’t talk to me, just muttered that she was being silly and wouldn’t say any more but I knew it was about the baby to come.
I hope this is helpful or at least interesting!