Thursday, November 19, 2015

Soul Meets Body.


I want to live where soul meets body

And let the sun wrap its arms around me
And bathe my skin in water cool and cleansing
And feel, feel what it's like to be new

I was enormously pregnant, (with twins even though I didn't know it yet), and the only music I felt like listening to was Death Cab for Cutie.  Almost the entire last 5 months of pregnancy I only listened to Death Cab for Cutie.  It seemed wholesome and good.  I liked Death Cab for Cutie, right when I heard them. (Sam still doesn't like them at all).

It started when I popped in Mikhaila's CD in my Trail Blazer, while I drove to the high school for my first day as an English Teacher.  I had switched positions, from District Technology Coordinator, to High School English Teacher, when I found out I was pregnant and because my parents told me it would be better to be in one place and not traveling from school to school or going to school board meetings when I was going to have a baby.  Being a classroom teacher was much better...  Less stress...

That wasn't true.  It wasn't true at all.  I would have been far better off with the power and freedom of my technology job, and dealing with the central office, and not having a "boss" like a principal.  I have always been very independent and bossy.  If I knew what needed to be done, I wanted to do it and do it the way I thought it should be done.  I didn't want to mess around.  I didn't want to ask other people what they thought, unless I needed their advice.  I knew what I was doing.

I wrote several grants as the technology coordinator and the only one the district didn't receive was one that I was forced to write with the curriculum director.  Every other year, I wrote the whole damn thing by myself, and then I would present it briefly at one of the monthly administrative meetings, to all the principals and the superintendent, and they would all put their names on it, like we wrote it together and we'd get the money.  Big money.  I knew how to write them, and writing it wrong was what happened the year the curriculum director inserted herself into the process.

You had to have a focus, be very focused, and have a specific goal for the funds to achieve for student learning.  The curriculum director wanted me to just write in we wanted 10 computers here, 5 there, some other shit for something else.  She didn't listen, and I was under a teacher contract and she was an administrator.

The following year we got a huge grant to start a broadcast news program for the high school, and mini-programs in the elementary schools, and middle school.  My father still advises the high school newspaper and the broadcast news show, "Green Horn Live."

Cause in my head there’s a greyhound station
Where I send my thoughts to far off destinations
So they may have a chance of finding a place
where they’re far more suited than here

Anyway, it was the first day for teachers, and the song Soul Meets Body came on, as I was pulling into the parking lot.  I started to cry.  I was sobbing.  My hormones were a mess, and I missed my little sister.  She was not so little, 18 years old, and had gone off to college for her first year.  I was starting a new job, even if it was in the same district.  For some reason, the song made me think of Mikhaila and I was sobbing on my steering wheel and luckily my dad pulled into the parking space next to mine and knocked on my window and told me we'd better get inside for the district wide opening day meeting.

 I laughed at myself, being pregnant and hormonal and all, and my dad understood how much Mikhaila leaving affected me.  It was a good day.  When I got back in the car, the song was just ending and I started crying again.  I might have even wailed Mikhaila's name in sorrow, as I drove home.  She was my best friend.  Even though I had always been 10 years older, (duh), we were not much different... and suddenly I was very different, I was much older, and I was having a baby (or two).  No way.  It just didn't feel right.

And I cannot guess what we'll discover
When we turn the dirt with our palms cupped like shovels
But I know our filthy hands can wash one another’s
And not one speck will remain


I was supposed to be able to drive to Burlington and, like, sleep on her dorm floor, if we felt like seeing each other.  She came to visit me when I was in college all the time, even though it was very difficult on her when I left and was gone for such long stretches of time.  She was 10, 11, 12, and I loved having her come to stay with me.  

But she was different too.  She didn't want a pregnant Joanna around, so she changed too.  She saw me as different so she changed too.  



I do believe it's true 
That there are roads left in both of our shoes
But if the silence takes you
Then I hope it takes me too

Gosh, so much changed that year... too much, and we never were the same again.  I hated it, and I hate it, and I will always hate it.  

I wanted to have children.  She had told me to wait to have kids until she graduated from high school, and I did.  I love my children, but I lost my sister.  I lost my sister.  It wasn't fair it was one or the other.  I guess that's the only moment, yet the most destructive moment, when being 10 years apart made a difference to either of us.  

And brown eyes I hold you near
Cause you’re the only song I want to hear
A melody softly soaring through my atmosphere

Where soul meets body
Where soul meets body

Gosh, then I found out I was having twins!  She wanted me to call her first.  She was upset that we called the house from the sonogram table and I told my mom.  You see, we found out we were having twins the day we thought we were finding out if we were having a boy or girl.  And when the doctor told us we were having twins, he said, "This is out of left field," and left the room for a few minutes to make sure he told the front desk that the sonogram would take longer, and make sure it would fit in the schedule.  In those few minutes Sam and I were in complete shock and delirious.  We were completely nutty.  We were out of our minds.  I just called and said, "We have twins," to the first person who answered the phone and my mom freaked out, of course, and we couldn't tell her any more than that... that's all we knew.  I know I wrote that I thought one of the babies was dead and Sam thought they were siamese.  I tell you we were crazypants.  We were not prepared for that news.  Unfortunately, my mom, being my mom called everyone in the 20 minutes it took for the doctor to finish the sonogram and tell us they were both alive, not conjoined, and we were having a boy and a girl.  There were two babies in there and one was my Stella and one was my Michael, the names we had picked out before we even got pregnant.  When I did talk to Mikhaila she was obviously crying, but not happy for me, or laughing crying like we were... she was angry I didn't tell her first. 

I do believe it's true
that there are roads left in both of our shoes
But if the silence takes you
then I hope it takes me too

Cause you’re the only song I want to hear

A melody softly soaring through my atmosphere
A melody softly soaring through my atmosphere
A melody softly soaring through my atmosphere
A melody softly soaring through my atmosphere


I didn't know what I was doing.  And that song just started playing and I remembered that, God, I don't know what I'm doing, still.

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