Space in the Middle

Here we are, the 16th day, the midpoint of the month, fifteen days have past and fifteen more are to come.

I have come to take special notice of midpoints because my birthday falls on the 16th day of a 31-day month (May), and it happens that I was born on the middle day (25) of the omer, the 49 days between Passover and Shavuot. I like to ask myself, how do I occupy this middle space?


Here in this month of remembering Halia, I seem to be pretty well through the material about my memories of her and about the "normal" parts of the pregnancy. I am aware that it is time to turn towards the hard parts of this story, the perilous last month of the pregnancy, her stillbirth, and its aftermath. 

It has been so lovely to take time for the space before all that, to remember the many gifts of that time, and to give plenty of attention to ways that I knew Halia. I don't want to move on. I am afraid to let the layers of pain and difficulty back in, but they too are part of the story.

For today, I am taking a breath, allowing this middle space to be like a palate cleanser, or shall we say pallete cleanser. In my collection of small paintings from 2010, I found this little series of exactly that: pallete cleansers. I simply took the paint left on my pallete and filled these small cards.

They are simple but they also intrigue me, and the more I look at them, the more I think they tell the story of this transition point: the transition from calm to stormy, from soothing to intense, from healthy to gone-terribly-wrong. They do so with their own spaciousness, even gentleness, closely reflecting my experience throughout.

Day 16 of 31, 13 Cheshvan 5774