Tuesday, February 5

The best made plans...are your open hands.

me on swirly's bench, photo by jen gray

Getting away to be with some of my girls the end of last week was so very healing for me. I didn't realize how very far deep into my head I've been until I walked into a house filled with laughter, dancing, fabulous goofiness and inside jokes.

I had just come from a beautiful but really intense trip back east to interview and photograph couples that have adopted. Because I am an empath, I felt I had walked through three journeys of adoption along with the three gorgeous couples I interviewed. All totally different stories. Each filled with devastation and pain before the pure joy of being with their new baby came to be. The fact that prior to this trip, we had decided to adopt, my perspective had altered a bit and not only was I interviewing them for a book but I was also curious as an adoptive parent. Then on the tail end of that trip I caught this tricky little bug that left me insanely sick. So, driving North to Santa Monica, I felt like I was in a really quiet, contemplative and serious head space. This head space sort of hung by a string during my time out there. It didn't want to leave me. I laughed and laughed at my beautifully funny girlfriends but I wasn't the one making the jokes. I can definitely be that girl but I didn't feel like that girl at times and what was amazing is that I didn't feel that expectation to be from my sweet friends. There is such a freedom and safe-ness with my friendships these days that I cherish like the sun and don't ever take for granted.

I remember over lunch I just spilled about the adoption process we have entered into and that part of me wants to jump up and down and scream to the world in glee and the other, more logical side to me knows that it would be wise to reign in my emotions until the papers are signed and that baby is in our arms. Something one of the girls said to me in response to my sharings has stayed with me and rocked my emotions at ease. "We'll hold onto that excitement for you. We'll be excited and you can just be whatever you need to be to protect your heart."

That is how I felt the entire time I was out there. Held. Gently held. There is something so powerful and beautiful that transpires when you start crying as you share something and you look across the table to see your friends eyes well with tears. There is a oneness, an empathy and being this understood and felt gives me strength to move through it. That's when the breakthrough happens and the giggling begins.

There is a song that a lot of us bloggers have really resonated with on our journeys. Big Strong Girl by Deb Talen from The Weepies. It's almost on every CD my blog friends have burned and sent me. We even talked about this song while out there and how each of us have played it loud and either danced or cried to it. Deb Talen joined us at that lunch I spoke of earlier and because her music has changed my life, it was really difficult to not be totally geeked out and kiss her feet. I chose to be calm, so that she could feel relaxed and not have to show up as a superstar but just as a woman hanging with some of her friends. Looking across the table at her I felt that oneness while I began sharing our new journey. Being as real, gentle and present as she was, we all got into girly things and I had forgotten to thank her for her music in my life. So, I wanted to share the gratefulness here because since being with these beauties, I have tapped into a strength that I thought was slipping away from me. This song is what is in my heart today. It is what I hear my girlfriends all around the globe singing to me and it is what I am singing to you.

Big Strong Girl by Deb Talen

It's not now or never.

It's not black, and it's not white.
Anything worth anything takes
more than a few days

and a long, long night.

Don't push so hard against the world

You can't do it all alone,
and if you could
would you really want to?
Even though you're a big strong girl

come on, come on, lay it down.

The best made plans
come on, come on... are your open hands.

Rest your head.

You've got two pillows to choose from

in a queen-sized bed.

Hold out for the moon

but don't expect connection any time soon.

Feel the light caress your fingertips.

You have just begun,
the word has only left your lips.

Maybe in time, you will find
your arms
are wrapped around the sun

you're wrapped around the sun.

Don't push so hard against the world, no, no.
You can't do it all alone,
and if you could
would you really want to?
Even though you're a big strong girl

come on, come on, lay it down.

The best made plans
come on, come on, lay it down
are your open hands.


Blogger Julianne said...

I just found your blog today while searching parabens. First I want to tell you that I love your blog. I loved it immediately, and was so blown away by your poingnant writing and beautiful photos. Now I know why, you are the only other person I have ever heard mention being an empath, as I am. Blessing or curse I am not sure. Whenever I have tried to talk to someone about it, they look at me like uh yeah.... Now I know why I immediately felt a kinship with your blog. I feel your disappointment in your quest for a family. I know things will work out. On another note I wanted to tell you that I recently tried collective Wellbeing Gel cleanser, and night balm. They are wonderful. These are the only "safe"skin care products I have ever liked. Best wishes to you, and thanks for the blog.


February 5, 2008 at 6:32:00 PM PST  
Blogger jen lemen said...

denise! this song is the best, and completely undoes me everytime. yay for you for the chance to embrace the truth of it and the chance to be with deb as well. blessings on the next part of this journey. i feel strongly that only joy awaits.

February 5, 2008 at 6:43:00 PM PST  
Blogger Stacy said...

i loved reading this post, my eyes welled up with tears too.

so funny you mentioned that particular song because it's the one that i have been playing non-stop for the past week now. guess i was feeling you girls. ; )

love you,

February 5, 2008 at 7:23:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Feel whatever you feel; be whoever you are; your life will arrive right on schedule! Then come to me for a foot rub.

February 5, 2008 at 7:56:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you seen Juno yet? SO good, I think you would really enjoy it. :)


February 5, 2008 at 9:35:00 PM PST  
Blogger Cali said...

Never heard this song and now i'm sitting alone on my couch weeping... and that's just after reading the lyrics. thanks for sharing, denise. spoke to my heart for this place I'm in right now. thank you, thank you.

and you're always in my thoughts with the "becoming a mama" journey and everything else.

February 5, 2008 at 9:47:00 PM PST  
Blogger Swirly said...

I am glad you felt totally accepted and held...I think we all feel that sense of safety with one another and what a gift that is. I love you.

February 5, 2008 at 9:49:00 PM PST  
Blogger Pen said...

You write with such an open heart it fills me up every time I come here xx

February 6, 2008 at 2:19:00 AM PST  
Blogger Lil said...

hi denise, i can't remember how i discovered your blog, or even when, but i'm glad i did...

your honesty with yourself and your readers, your ability to just say everything that fills and overflows your heart, your images...it's just so wonderful. i'm going to stop lurking now because this song that you've posted rocks. i'm a big strong girl, but i so need to lay down the burden it's become to be a strong mother/lover/sister/daughter...and just be me when i need to be.

thank you denise...for being you.

peace from my heart to your heart,

February 6, 2008 at 5:24:00 AM PST  
Blogger Jennifer said...

This post is so beautiful and "Big Strong Girl" brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it. My favorite line from the song is "you can't do it all alone, and if you could would you really want to?" In your case you are so blessed to have friends who allow to be just who you are and who hold you gently supporting you. I wish you blessings on what the world has in store for you next. I know it will be magical.

February 6, 2008 at 8:11:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are beautiful, smart and sweet and I love this picture of you! Its like you are finally welcoming JOY into your life again. I'm happy for you and your journey :)

February 6, 2008 at 9:02:00 AM PST  
Blogger christina said...

Such beautiful words. I too love the feeling of being with my girlfriends, so pure. Now on to the real business for the day..where did you get those cute shoes your wearing in the photo??:+)

February 6, 2008 at 9:57:00 AM PST  
Blogger Cali said...

oh yeah, one more thing...
ADORABLE picture!! I just LOVE your facial expression. :)

February 6, 2008 at 10:03:00 AM PST  
Blogger boho girl said...

Hi Christina!
The shoes I'm wearing are from El Natura Lista.

The most comfy shoes I own.


February 6, 2008 at 10:05:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

denise, as someone who's been around for the "ride" you've been on for awhile (though it's been awhile since we connected, boo), it's so encouraging and beautiful to see how you've grown. i'm proud of you and your decision to be open to adoption.

and so appropriate to pick this song. my boyfriend and i were listening to it yesterday and i was explaining that it is the advice i constantly need to take, remember and hold to my heart.

blessings and love to you, today and always. i hold you and your journey in my heart.

amy { a.k.a. coffee and sunshine--now, miss bliss }

February 6, 2008 at 11:37:00 AM PST  
Blogger kristen said...

i keep coming here to read these lyrics...i'm probably the only blogger out there that doesn't know the weepies.

February 6, 2008 at 2:38:00 PM PST  
Blogger Marianne said...

I can't tell you how many times I put that on the iPod and set out to walk laps of the compound in Ghor. The plans really are our open hands.

Love you and miss you and I can't wait for that drum dance either.


February 6, 2008 at 3:16:00 PM PST  
Blogger Linda Salas said...

Now I gotta go looking for that song that´s in everyone´s heads! I´m happy you had a good time!

February 6, 2008 at 3:19:00 PM PST  
Blogger Susannah Conway said...

one of my most favourite songs ever. Her music has helped me so much on this healing journey - that you and Swirly spent time with her means so much to me - kinda like I was there too :-) love you mb xo

February 7, 2008 at 3:01:00 AM PST  
Blogger Michelle (a.k.a. la vie en rose) said...

i don't think i ever really knew the all the words to this song until i read them right now...wow...they'll get ya, huh?

February 7, 2008 at 11:28:00 AM PST  
Blogger Thea Coughlin said...

This photo is so absolutely gorgeous. Look at you-I think that is my favorite expression of yours.

What a beautiful heart filling time you had. I am so happy you have these women in your life, that you can spill and share and be open and yourself. 100% safe and yourself. It is wonderful and makes me smile just thinking about it.

I love this song-so much so I made myself a ring that say big strong girl. Deb Talens music has made a hugfe impact on my life.


February 7, 2008 at 4:35:00 PM PST  
Blogger Mindy said...

i loved coming here and finding these lyrics like a little gift...so poinient and universal. i am watching your journey unfold on this new road towards adopting. it makes my heart so happy for you both :)

February 8, 2008 at 4:59:00 AM PST  
Blogger Sarcomical said...

you always share the most timely things it seems. thank you.

p.s. i absolutely adore the weepies. i would have had a hard time staying "cool", as well. ;)


February 8, 2008 at 5:24:00 AM PST  
Blogger Mrs. Spencer said...

what an amazing journey you are on... the love and warmth in your life can be felt through the screen.

and the weepies, are quite possibly, the best ever. ever.



February 11, 2008 at 10:34:00 AM PST  

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