A few weeks ago I mentioned my participation in Liberated Lines Love, the Instagram-based four week writing course offering daily prompts that helped me to free my words and express the love that moves my heart and animates my spirit.
Today I will share the fruits of those four weeks, bits of cavernous emotion frozen into the compendium of my Instagram feed, because they mean something significant to me and because I want another record of #liberatedlineslove. If I ever get around to it I will turn these photos and their captions into a memory book. Something for the shelves.
I am desperate to remember this time in my life, February 3-28, 2014. Not only the last 20 days of my pregnancy with Skyla and the first five days of her life, but the act of liberating my lines. Softening, opening and allowing as life changed so quickly that I could see it happening. Like the time lapse of a flower blooming.
I’m trying to hold onto time though it won’t last. Like drinking water from your hands. Though you can’t see the cracks, water slips through them faster than you can drink. No matter how tightly I grip time, time escapes me. I cannot hold onto time, I can only let it go.
Writing in the throes of transformation, writing to understand and learn from and celebrate the unfamiliar, this keeps me grounded. But I lose sight of my way when I spend too much time looking back over my shoulder, clinging to memories, closing my fist around time only to find my hands are empty and they will always stay that way. When we leave, we will bring nothing with us.
So I am not going to re-read every post I wrote, I am not going to edit. I copied and I pasted and in a moment I will hit publish. I will let time carry me far away and in that far away place I will build upon this foundation. The best is yet to come.
Below you will find all of my Instagram photos I tagged with #liberatedlineslove and their associated captions directly below.
I hope you enjoy reading these little love letters as much as I enjoyed writing them.
We do not have perfection we have one another. Peace comes and goes like new souls through my body. Emotions take us inward, dreams take us forward. Hold me by the hand and I’ll hold you by the other hand and we will draw one another outward. Towards expression of truth and the freedom of expansion. We can fly, buttressed by love. I believe that. #liberatedlineslove #bump #love #believe#amwriting (This is a #latergram from my maternity shoot–I got the photos last night so I’m still high on them and wanting to share, hope it’s okay to break the rules on the first day of the course!)
My sister made this cowl with her own two hands. She knit this cowl like I knit the bones of my daughter. Flesh and blood and yarn. The embrace of the womb like the warmth of the wool. Protected from the elements and bound by love. #liberatedlineslove #pregnancy #sisters
This little lady. When she says “mommy” my world rearranges. #liberatedlineslove #pingandswell
I woke to an alien glow on the other side of the curtain. It was Her. And She peeked into my dining room as they sat eating oatmeal. Stillness. I savored it, and I took a picture to save Her reflection for later.#liberatedlineslove #sunshine
The space where I plan to birth my daughter, where she will emerge from deep within me, towards the light of the sun. An ordinary room waiting patiently for the extraordinary, humbled by natural wonders.#liberatedlineslove #homebirth #waterbirth#pregnancy #crunchymama
I waited and searched and prayed for the fun today, entertaining slivers of doubt that I’d ever find fun again. Until I saw this tiny lady tromping around the house in plastic high heels and a cocktail dress from my college days. This must be the new brand of fun.#liberatedlineslove #fun
I have not seen my child’s face and yet I know it. I have not held her in my arms but I have held her in my womb. The weight of her body fills me with longing and purpose. For I am a vessel. She is here, a feather floating in our midst, resting so quietly that we have moments of forgetting. My baby and I, we coexist peacefully, easily, one breath and two bodies. No empty spaces between us. We whisper secrets without making a sound. We will spend years pushing and pulling and sustaining one another. But for now this is a gestating love. #liberatedlineslove#pregnantlife #pregnancy #38weeks #motherhood#mamalove (photo credit: 7 year old Emile)
I let go. Muscle by muscle, bone by bone. Responsibility slid from my shoulders while steam ascended from the effervescence. Quiet cravings. I looked down at my swollen belly, I looked up out the window, and though I’d found stillness I wasn’t alone. #liberatedlineslove #pacificnorthwest #north #metime #spa #selflove #pregnancy #meditation
Water + sky. City + snow. Crepes + tea. Sunday + morning. Tired + happy. It all adds up to love. #liberatedlineslove #snow #seattle #bellevue
The snow melts. A steady drip in the background of our stay-home day, the change that never stops ticking. We have nothing to do but we find a lot to do. We tickle and we play hide and go seek and we read books. We break rules and we make messes and we scold and we clean. We chase and we cry and we think about nothing but today and one another. We want nothing but today and one another. #liberatedlineslove #family #home
There was a girl. Free as a bird. The abundance of the earth ran through her veins. She traveled and lived and worked in exotic places. Her worldly possessions fit into a backpack. On this particular night she mixed drinks in styrofoam bowls. She balanced the bowl on her head and posed against the backdrop of a brilliant Thai beach alongside her cousin and roommate and best friend. She got high on the sunset, intoxicated by the drink, hypnotized by the scalloped sea. The girl is me and not me. The me before marriage and motherhood and responsibility. I will never be her again and yet she exists as a layer of who I am today, a woman with a heart divided, a woman with more than 10 fingers to lose. A woman who does not drink more than one nor kiss strangers nor ride without a helmet. I miss her though. I loved her life and its infinite possibility. #liberatedlineslove #thailand #travel
I made a memory box once upon a time. I filled it with relics of my earliest years, reminders of my purpose, my child self intuiting the nuances of my future needs. The paper journal I sealed with a metal lock. Poems about the inside of me and the color purple. The proclamation that I would grow up to write books. The long-winded handwritten notes to and from my best friend. The twists and turns since then have both held back my hair and left it tangled. The wind carried me away and I carried me home. Back to my journals and books and the written word. Where passion nourishes as it consumes. Like falling in love every day. #liberatedlineslove #amwriting #childhood #writerslife
This is a story of fear. In my heart, fear is sitting very close to love. Fear does not waken me at night, but when I awaken, fear keeps me here. Alone, hungry. The time has come to unwrap the fear. Name the fear. Hold the fear. Listen to the fear, to the beat and the center and the source of it. It is a fear of the pop. My bag of waters breaking. Fear of the tightening. My uterus contracting. Fear of the pain. My body squeezing. Fear of the space. The bones of my pelvis widening. Fear of the power. The life force siphoned into my core, the force of a life coming through me. (To read the rest please visit my blog, link in profile.) #liberatedlineslove #love #fear #childbirth #naturalbirth #homebirth #motherhood
These evenings at my desk feed the hungry parts of my mind. I become free from external demands, free from monotony, free to get lyrical with letters. Whether I write one paragraph or one thousand words, I get somewhere. I feel something. Soon I will have a babe in arms and everything will change as it always does. And though I will miss my quiet evenings, I will savor the transience of motherhood. My stories will wait while babyhood waits for no one. Here’s to the ebb and flow, the flame that flickers and grows, the expansion of existence. #liberatedlineslove #amwriting #pregnancy #pregnantlife
Is it cold and dreary or light and happy? Are we tired or are we awake? Are we lazy or are we relaxing? Are we surviving or are we thriving? The answers may be irrelevant so long as we open our arms to the sky and drink the wild air. #liberatedlineslove #duality #seattle #pacificnorthwest
This little girl is her mama’s first baby and as she anticipates mama’s second baby (and daddy’s third baby), she is missing her own babyhood. She begged me to strap her into the infant seat. She wants to nurse again. She wants to be carried. She wants to be a big girl but she also wants to be a baby. I want her to know there’s no one like her, no one who can take her place, no one who can pull us apart. I want her to know she will forever be my baby. #liberatedlineslove #duality
Open up, let it out. Beauty starts in the center, flowing outwardly, sliding down your petals, landing on fingertips and the edge of my heart, coloring dreams outside the lines. #liberatedlineslove
Good night blue sky with your swaths of gauzy white and burning ball of energy. You make me want to be great like you. #liberatedlineslove
Bits of color on this gray-soaked day. My interior self reflected in the flat sky and bare trees outside my window, every moment and every branch saturated with an aura of anticipation. #liberatedlineslove #pregnantlife #pregnancy #39weeks #spring
Motherhood is belonging so completely to another person that you don’t mind their helplessness, their neediness, their naïveté. You ache to be a servant to them. Helping, caring, teaching, holding. Whether or not the child came through your body or to you through other means, it is this giving of self that makes a mother. Every day I dream of being a better one. More selfless, patient and kind. I know my second daughter will change me, perhaps as much as my daughter and my stepson did before her. I can’t wait. But I will have to. #liberatedlineslove #pregnantlife #pregnancy #39weeks #maternity photo credit @hellojessicaho
There’s no better way to spend an afternoon than spinning conversations around dreams; falling in lust with the future and in love with possibility; pointing our hearts in the right direction and praying our minds and our feet will follow, up and over the hills, down and through the valleys. Flanked by patience and perseverance, supported by the ones who love us, our built-in fans. Sometimes we forget how to dream, a loss of faith that numbs the soul and tangles provenance, a loss the entire universe must bear. For there is no one else with the same gifts to bestow upon humanity, no one who can dream your dreams for you. As for me. The beauty I love is writing and mothering and healing. I dream of publishing my novels, stories that engage the intellect and spark greater awareness. I dream of healing with tea, herbal tonics to enhance the human experience. I dream of raising happy children; and tonight I dream of holding in my arms the one inside of me. #liberatedlineslove #dream #pregnantlife #pregnancy #motherhood #writerslife #amwriting #fiction #truth #herbs #tea
I have no shortage of desires, no absence of dreams, no limits to stand behind. Sometimes I wonder if I want too much. And yet all of it blurs into the background when she needs me. She comes first. She holds my heart. My dreams, perhaps they exist only in the context of my love. #liberatedlineslove #dream #family #love #motherhood
No better way to spend my due date than reveling in my beautiful soul sister and her brand new baby boy. This is what bliss looks like. This is where I’m headed. #liberatedlineslove #pregnantlife #pregnancy #40weeks #baby #newborn #love #friendship @christianaspeed
My new mug says to live in the moment and make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering. Currently I am sipping on herbal tea I mixed myself for expecting mothers like myself. Red raspberry leaf and nettles and peppermint among others, herbs filling each cell with Mother Nature’s balancing life force. I am riding wave after wave of practice contractions, not true labor but rather a tightening of my center, a gripping in my body, a sign of what’s to come. A babe in my eager arms. And though my body does not let me forget she is coming soon, I cannot know how soon. But I can make the wait into something beautiful, something worth remembering, these last moments before my world changes forever. #liberatedlineslove #pregnantlife #pregnancy #40weeks #amreading #herbs #herbaltea #tea
She looks just like her big sister here. Life is a series of miracles with love as the source. I am wading through the thick of it. #liberatedlineslove #newborn #baby #love
Day 3 of bliss. This tiny lady lived inside of my skin. I’m not sure we can comprehend the miracle that keeps our planet spinning on its axis, the intelligence that weaves love into life. #liberatedlineslove #baby #love #newborn #motherhood
New mother veteran mother postpartum haze. Dark circles pale lips old clothes. Failed naps tiny cries sleepy smiles. Sore nipples cramping uterus more blood. Jealous sister proud sister proud father. Up all night awake all day still going. Shocked awed blissed out. Beautiful baby gorgeous baby pretty baby. Unreal too real perfectly real. Kiss kiss kiss snuggle worry. Eat in bed write in bed read in bed. Gray sunshine rain. Pray comfort nurse. Overwhelmed by sweetness by harmonious exhaustion. Heaven on earth heaven sent blessed. Love that passes understanding. #liberatedlineslove #love #motherhood #newborn #baby
My life revolves around this signal, this wide open mouth, this quiet quest for nourishment. A reflex honed by years of evolution into something we consider normal, something we don’t stop to ponder or question because the answer comes to us upon an instinct. Extraordinary intelligence deemed ordinary. #liberatedlineslove #baby #newborn #motherhood #ordinary #love #breastfeeding #nursing
Reflections on water, shadows on glass. Streaks of light, patches of snow. Naked branches, blur of trees. Yellow bleeding into gray into blue. Earth interrupted by steel and concrete. Sharp edges of rock meeting sky. This is where I am. This is what I see. The same landscape punctuated by different colors every day, every moment. An ordinary sight made extraordinary just by noticing. #liberatedlineslove #ordinary #seattle #bellevue #pacificnorthwest #nofilter
It all comes down to this: they teach me how to love myself. In their innate perfection, I can see reflections of my own. For I am also someone’s beloved daughter and I, too, started out this way. Tiny and pure, round cheeked and curious, the world offering itself at my feet. Maybe I walked away from it, maybe I ran in circles, maybe I stopped hearing the whispers from my heart. But no matter where I’ve been or where I go, I will always return to my roots, the place where possibility reveals itself as infinite. Where my authentic, perfect self resides. The girl who loves thick books and writing words, old trees and the sky on a sunny day. #liberatedlineslove #daughters #sisters #motherhood #love #selflove