rhine timber man

Waiting. Worrying. It’s a restless time with little sleep to bring relief. I’m afraid of what might happen in those dark hours. As I let go of consciousness,  wakefulness and control, I’m terrified of what else might slip way, forever lost. I don’t want this one to leave us, too. I’m on watch, on guard. But I’m a watchman with serious impairments, in truth deaf and blind to whatever might be lurking. Our enemies, for the most part, are invisible, silent.

Waffling about whether to take action. To induce or to not induce. It’s unclear whether my body is showing signs of readiness. There’s softening, but no opening. Descent, but no contracting, tightening, rushing.  I’m scared of a brutal, forced birth. The little one seems fine – but ready to make the transition from sea to land? Or in fact desperate to do so, kept company by the steady ticking of an inaudible countdown to doom deep inside me? I don’t know how to tune my ears to the right frequency. I can’t hear anything.

Meanwhile as I wait, new stretch marks are appearing out of nowhere. Angry, red, threatening. I wonder if these are the signs of an inevitable falling apart. A fissure in the firmament. It’s like that small hairline crack you notice one day in in the corner of the ceiling where there was once just a clean, blank space. A crack that daily, silently deepens and spreads, growing tendrils that choke out the support above until the great weight once serving as shelter collapses on top of you in a deafening crash and a stinging cloud of dust. Crushing.

They tell me these marks will fade. I don’t know how to believe them.