Sunday, March 04, 2007

Zen and the art of prenatal maintenance

Circling the block for the seventh time, waiting for the gods of parking to smile down on my green trash-strewn sedan, it hits me: My mind is finally blank, the zen I've been dreaming of.

But I can hardly remember why I'm here let alone obsessing over the lack accessible spaces. With each turn of the wheel, each pass of the same neighborhood, my reasons for being in this very place eludes me.

At this point I'm just circling. If a car came careening out of a space right in front of me, I'd probably take no notice and continue my laps.

Yoga and meditation couldn't accomplish in a dozen years what a growing level of human chorionic gonadotropin -- that's hCG to you medical types -- could pull off in a matter of days: What the Zen Buddhists call 'No mind.'

But this isn't what I would call enlightenment.

I imagine that the 'No Mind' enlightenment promises has very little to do with a mind unencumbered by facts and figures; a mind that can't remember any more telephone numbers or its own wedding anniversary. The enlightened mind, I believe, has more to do with a being able to witness without judging and let go; a mind that is aware but unconcerned.

Pregnancy mind is just blank. And not a good blank, either. It's the kind of blank that the FCC has been vigilantly leveling heavy fines against: The blankity-blank-blank blank!

Pregnancy mind wakes you up at 2:30 a.m. to warn you that "very bad things" are going to happen and then goes cackling away while you obsess for the next several months. Pregnancy mind forgets everything you struggle to remember, save for doctors' appointments and Skor bars hidden in the kitchen last October. It keeps you from sleeping or (depending on the model) from staying awake. Pregnancy mind wanders about unleashed.

It's as if my real mind has taken a vacation without me. I imagine it's lolling on some island off the Pacific Rim, slurping Mai Thais through a straw; eating unpasteurized cheeses and reading Dostoyevskii, while its pregnant equivalent is on a diet of saltines and decaffeinated tea and can't even focus on reading the return address labels on incoming mail.

My vacationing mind, I imagine, is thumbing its proverbial nose in my pregnant mind's direction; asking its cabana boy to deliver a fresh cocktail as I try to remember where I put my keys.

It's all too much really. The pressure of remembering to send Ittybit out into the world each morning complete with shoes and socks is weighing on me.

On good days we arrive at the sitter's house without lunches, sneakers and sippy cups. These days I'm lucky if I remember to bring Ittybit.

The stress of it doesn't help. It's similar to finding an all-day parking spot downtown on a weekday; because waits at the doctors’ office, unfortunately, require such a time commitment.

I'm trying to let it go. I'm trying to realize as I drive around in search of a blank slot in which to dock my car, willing one into existence is futile. The more I want it, the less likely it is to appear. It's like the pregnancy itself: the more I wanted it the more it seemed impossible. When I had just about given up hope, there it was.

Now if I can just remember where I parked the car.


The Mad Momma said...

oh my god.. yes... i dont know where my mind is... i am going nuts.. and i think i am going to link up your post because i am too lazy and cant write it as well as you have written it.... look at it this way... you have a few weeks and i have 8 days more to go and then we are going to be normal (or as close to normal as we can hope to be!)again...

Be Still said...

I felt like this when I was nursing. I was constantly losing my keys. It didn't get to the losing the car stage though, LOL!

Trish said...

I remember this not-so fondly! Thanks for the memories :)

mad muthas said...

i fear this is evolution's way of preparing you to sit nice and quiet and gaze into your baby's face for hour after hour. actually, that sounds like rather good fun!

Her Bad Mother said...

You're so right about 'pregnancy mind' - the always-busy, always-whirring mind that never rests. Now, zen mind... I needs to gets me some of that... the closest that I get is when I'm riding the bus out to the 'burbs where I teach. The repetitive strip-mall landscape and hum of the bus lull my mind into a very pleasant blankness...