Hefty Lifting

In my first pregnancy, I developed a fear of the transition phase of labor. Even without experiencing labor, I knew that would be my point of trial and terror. As it turned out, that so dreaded transition was but a moment or two. I had my single place of easy breathing. I looked at an analog clock, the time of 3:14 pm lodging in my memory. Sunlight streamed through an enormous window.

Moving, as Ben Hewitt once told me, sucks. As usual, Ben is succinct and dead-on right. Moving is the transition phase I dreaded in labor, the leaving one place and not-yet-in-another.

In days of acute stress, like the times my former husband was arrested, I wrote notes to guide myself through days – call this person or buy coffee, but also fragments of dialogue, or the state’s attorney’s ironed, lavender shirt – anchoring those moments in my notebook, hungry writer that I am, to return to that time later, when the miasma dissipated, and glean.

I want people who write to crash or dive below the surface, where life is so cold and confusing and hard to see.

Your anger and damage and grief are the way to the truth.

– Anne Lamott, Bird By Bird

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By Brett Ann Stanciu

Brett Ann Stanciu lives with her two daughters in Hardwick, Vermont. Her creative nonfiction book, Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal, will be published by Steerforth Press in September 2021. Her novel about rural life in Vermont, Hidden View, was published in 2015.

1 comment

  1. That might be the first time anyone’s described me as “succinct.” I think I like it;)
    Good luck with the move, glad you’ll still be in the neighborhood.

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