Thursday, February 02, 2012

Ramble On...

Aside from the deep sorrow of losing people in my life; I find witnessing others struggle in that grief just as heartbreaking. Maybe even more so....
I was asked over and over again after the services "how are those beautiful children of mine"
It wasn't until the third of the 5 times I was asked, did I realize it was my brothers children they were remembering and wanting to talk about.
One woman even said "well, when are you going to get some?"
I laughed and said with a deadpan face "I am not"
ugh, I chalked it up to the awkwardness of the situation and the desire to find small talk and children are the easiest of topics for most.

My parents witnessed much of it and simply smiled at me as I swung my combat sword and responded in a composed and refined manner.

The kicker was when another survivor was telling her story (it is part of our history, so it is important to hear again and again and share with others...forgive but never forget) I did not know her story so I sat and was fascinating and detailed.
Then she called me closer and I sat beside her as she said
(I swear I am not making this up and she did not know who I was or anything about me)
"  I didn't believe in god after I was placed in the camps. It wasn't until I finally got pregnant that I knew god existed. All my life all I wanted to be was a mother, it took two years after liberation to get pregnant. Being a mother is the most important thing."
At that, I stood up, thanked her for sharing her story with me, and quietly walked into a distant bathroom and cried. It felt like a pitchfork was stuck into my chest.
I clearly did not believe in god enough....
I hope to not have to go to a funeral for a long while, I am pretty emotionally cooked.


I am slowly, SLOWLY, going thru images I took while away. I took close to 3000 images from the 10days I was gone. well, 8 if you count travel to and from when I really didn't take any pics en route. well not real ones, point in case:
veggie meal en route to Ireland
The gallery was busy all night for the reception, it was a very surreal experience but I am so THANKFUL to have been there to watch it all!
Stylish lady looking at my piece opening night

 Before leaving I contacted an IF support group (they have a 24hr suicide prevention hotline as part of their support services) in hopes to get their thoughts on submitting my IF show in Ireland. I received a very kind but short note back from them that said
"Dear Barreness,

Many thanks for your email. I forwarded your email to our chairperson but I know she is extremely busy so I am not sure if she has had a chance to reply.
I would be interested to find out if you have a positive response from Irish galleries - you might let us know and we could post a link on our website.
Best regards,

When I hand delivered my proposal on CD to a very well established gallery and gave my "elevator speech" to the director as we walked up a flight of stairs leading to her office that my work might be considered controversial as it is about my infertility.
There were two people at the top of the stairs that stopped dead in their tracks and froze.
When we made it to them at the top of the stairs and passed them, they just stared at me like I had said I was going to bomb the place. The director smiled graciously at me, allowed me to see the show they had just hung and went into her office.
As I left I thanked them again and passed the two people who were still just staring at me in silence.

I know that none of this is suppose to be easy.
I prepare and work really hard for every little thing I aim for.
I don't get anything easy, never have and never will...
These days
I am feeling tested and taunted


nicole said...

i doubt this will make it feel easier, but i think the periods where we feel the most tested are the periods of great growth. Not that it makes it any easier.

I frequently think "isn't time for things to be easy?" and yet, it feels like the easy times and the breaks are few and far between.

I love your art, especially your infertility pieces, so keep rockin' it.

I get tired of the inability to discuss infertility without the stares or looks or uncomfortableness. It is part of our lives and real. This isn't the 1950s, we shouldn't have to hide it in shame.

I am so sorry you had to deal with the endless children questions. It is true, it is the easiest conversation piece, but still can hurt. My best friend just had her first child and I am thrilled and can't wait to meet the little guy. She said to me the other day "I wish you could be here at the hospital with us" and all I could think is that I am glad I am not at the hospital, because everyone would be looking at Ross and I, saying "you two are next!" and having to deal with too many comments about us having the babies we cannot have.

I am proud of you! Keep up the awesome work. Your sisterhood will be here when you need strength.

Kitty said...

I'm always shocked at other people's shock over the discussion of infertility. It's almost comical to me how uncomfortable it makes them when we're the ones living it, and are clearly (more or less) okay with talking about it. I'm sure I'd be considered the rude one, but I probably would have stared right back at those people at the top of the stairs.

I admire you for taking infertility public in a way that most of us don't/can't, and I'm sorry you're feeling tested. I really think you're making a positive impact in the world on all our behalf.

(Also, I'm not sure I've said it yet, but I'm so very sorry for the losses of your loved ones. My heart goes out to you and your family.)