the little elephant cried & what i’ve been up to

I haven’t been blogging as much as I would like to, something about the business of summer ending, and the demands of this new weekly column at Dogster has taken a lot of my blogging energy. I do a lot of what i like to think of as micro blogging on facebook and twitter but it’s not the same as actually communicating with all of you here in a more concretely organized blog. It’s been a busy couple of weeks – Kestryl’s girlfriend stayed with us for the last two weeks when she’s been here on a visit from Holland. I was worried about what that experience would be like, the kind of growth that having invited her into our home represented to me. I definitely had my moments of struggling, but they were few, and minor and relatively easy to work through. I’m stunned at how much I’ve grown in the past few years, how well the visit went, and what that represents about the ways in which I’ve successfully grown beyond making decisions and boundaries based on fear, the ways in which I’ve been able to truly practice the larger believes that I have about love and relationships and connection. I worried a little that the visit would leave me with renewed little-phobia and self-judgement about being a little in the world and while when I’ve had brief struggled that have centered around that, when that panic clears I’m left more solid than I’ve ever been, more secure in my identities and the ways that I want to live my life. That’s a nice place to be, a powerful and exciting place.

This week also marked 12 years since I ran away from my birth mother’s house. It’s been 12 years since I was surrounded by the whirring of polaroid cameras capturing the bruises. 12 years since she was dragged drunken down the stairs of our house, 12 years since she spent the night in jail and I, thinking I was finally home and safe lied when asked “you’re over that gay thing right?” by the adults I ran away to, the adults I thought would love me. I was 17 then and it’s been so many lifetimes that have led me to where i am today.

This same week I read this incredibly sad news story that broke my heart. in the story, this little elephant in China couldn’t stop crying after keepers removed him from his mother after she rejected him, and tried to kill the little elephant for a second time. Family trauma is complicated and intense and something that stays with us in different ways over time. According to the story, the little elephant cried and cried for five hours, and then he figured out how to form relationship, to build a new family with his keeper who had rescued him.  I can’t stop thinking about this picture of a the little elephant crying, just crying out of grief and loss and abandonment.  This news story hit me, and keeps hitting me. I can’t get the picture of that baby elephant out of my mind.

The last thing I need is another project, and I know I don’t have the capacity to take this on right now as I’m working diligently on my next novel Lost Boi, but someday, someday I will write a picture book   about this little elephant. It will be a hard story, a rough story about what it means to be rejected. A story for us who escape, who run away, who survive, despite our mothers.