Fascination With Light

Newsletter Final Thought: April 2012

The spring rains have come to Beijing. For at least one day every spring, it rains all day long here and then leaves puddles, like in Canada, for the sun to glint off of the next day. I love it because it reminds me of home.

A puddle of yesterday’s rain water on the roof of the balcony below is reflecting the afternoon light onto my ceiling and reminds me of the way a swimming pool looks, shimmering in summer light. I could stare endlessly at that shimmering light. It’s the water baby in me, I suppose.

Echo is awake from her nap. She’ll be 4 months old next week and is just starting to grab at things with her new-found hands. She also “talks” now without words and has decided that she’s as fascinated with the shimmering ceiling as her mommy, and she’s telling it so. It’s amazing how being well-rested can make for such a pleasant wakefulness. She hasn’t cried to tell me she’s awake yet; she’s busy communing with the water’s reflection like it’s an old friend.

And maybe it is.

Nothing could have prepared me for the overwhelming wonder of my greatest creation yet: my daughter. I’ve heard people describe it as “love at first sight” or “bliss,” but there’s a twisting, deep complexity to the love that you can’t know until it possesses you. And, as an artist who has produced many works of art over the years, I am here now to tell you that none of them–or even all of them, put together–could even come close to being as precious as she is.

I wrote about my birth here in my PREGGERS IN CHINA blog but be sure to make yourself a warm beverage before reading it because the writing is almost as long as the labour was (well, not quite)!

And, like any proud mom, I am also keeping the photos regularly updated on my FACEBOOK PAGE (please “friend” me if you haven’t already!) so that will catch you up if you haven’t already had a look.

People said to me before I gave birth to Echo, in stern warning tones, that my life would “never be the same.” They said it like an ominous certainty, as though I should brace myself for a decline in all things pleasant.

I didn’t want my life to stay the same. I wanted to make life. Bring life. Share in the raising of a new life. THANKFULLY my life is not the same. How boring would that be?

And yes, while my schedule is now all about her and my notion of sleep has been completely turned around and flipped backwards and now hardly resembles any previous understanding of the concept (!), I feel so incredibly lucky to have embarked on this journey with her at this time in my life.

And, from another perspective, I’m still me. I’m still here. I haven’t changed, at least not the essential parts of me. I’m still Ember, a music-maker and writer who is still interested in pursuing my career and life path with the same (if not more?!) enthusiasm than ever. So, while children change us, they also enhance us and make us better people, more committed people, more present in our skin and our everyday moments.

At least, that’s how I feel about it right this instant as I watch her fascination with light. And she just turned her head, saw me sitting across the room, and gave me a huge gummy grin.

And that makes life complete.

Have a wonderful season.



Art & Children
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