> jumping into life.

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I want to know about family.

A fetus will someday--probably--grow inside my uterus and be born into the world. Until it takes its first breath, every molecule in it is mine. Is me. Is built of my breathing, of my blood, of my body. The sperm may contribute chromosomes, but the nitrogen, the energy, and the space to replicate them all come from me. Until it is weaned, everything but oxygen still comes from me.

I come from the soil.

I come from the rain.

I come from the womb of my mother, whose blood and body built me. I come from a line of immigrants and anarchists and well-mannered women. I come from a line of conquerers and peasants, a race of kings and sharecroppers and slaveholders. I come from a place of dry hills and summer fog, sagebrush breezes and breaking waves. I come from a family so tightly spun in love that sometimes we can't stand it.

I was made of nothing but my mother for nine months; of little else for months to follow. My universe was bounded by my parents' lives, bounded by their faces and hands. For years I was mostly their daughter, and only secondarily myself. But one day I was myself only, and daughter merely one role amongst many, none of which were me. One day my daughter will become my body walking and living and loving outside myself and I will want desperately to protect her, to draw her back near.

In some ten months, my father will walk me down a path in the woods and, as they say, give me away to my beloved. He does not own me now, so I don't mind. It will be, however, one of the few and final ways that our culture tells me that I am an adult. Wife, in most reckonings, trumps daughter: the life of my choosing now dominates over the child's choices made for me. I will not be my husband's any more than I am now my father's; I will be only more my own.

And one day--probably--we will make a child, and I will build her of my body and birth her into the world. She will be made of my own flesh, but she will not belong to me.

Oh my god, you are so beautiful. Again your words take my breath away...when I take a break from the much writing that has left me bleary-eyed and spend a few moments catching up on your words, I feel as though I have drank fresh waters, the pure waters of your life and how you live and love. Reading your words gives not just a window into your world, but gives a clearer window into our own.

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