Earth/Side: for Gabriel
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Earth/Side: for Gabriel

decorative image of mother holding child

EARTH/SIDE: FOR GABRIEL is a mosaic of writings from 2020-2021 that I started weaving together after birthing my son, Gabriel, in November 2020. This piece began as a non-linear narrative about the time in my life leading up to his conception, through my pregnancy, and into the post-birthing cuarentena (40 days postpartum) and fourth trimester. As I was piecing these writings together to become a cohesive poem, it took on a more linear shape; this was happening alongside my internal processing of our birth story.

At the heart of this poem is the recognition of pregnancy as a middle-ground or liminal space between the worlds of conceiving (creation) and birthing (guiding someone into an earthly existence). Dar a luz (to birth/bring forth light) is a transitional state between inside/outside of the womb. Through the process of birth, the birthing person takes on the journey of guiding a new being from one phase of being into another. This poem is also about the passage of stepping into being a mama, about the shift in identity from my pre-baby days to understanding what it means to be a mama to a new baby.

As I was writing this poem, I was also thinking about how Gabriel was “transverse breech” (in biomedical terms), and despite my efforts to encourage him to move, he stayed in this sideways lying position (necessitating a c-section). While assembling this poem, I was surrendering the “perfect birth” narrative I had created by seeing that despite things not going how I envisioned, I brought strength to the beautiful ceremony of welcoming Gabriel.


Earth/Side: for Gabriel

Becoming into light/ness.

Weaving bones & muscle

Vessels & cells

Fabric of eternity

Water-Memory.

Preparing a place for you:

Aquí te espero.


I am in the garden with the golden light,

Your Baba

& I

Manzanilla, calendula, lavender, plumajillo.

I steep myself in ceremony,

& walk through the quiet months.


Looking for you:

Will you be familiar?

Will you be familial?


You, side-ways in your womb-like home.

Skin stretching my body of water

Held by river currents coursing through

ancestors—me—you:

Esperando oír tu voz.


Out-breath,

Ombligo rising above,

Emerging like hyacinth, like crocus.

Tides pulling gravity.

Water flowing from

Other waters

Everywhere,

Flowers singing:

“El día en que tu naciste nacieron todas las flores.”


Shifter of sleep/Your hair like feathers,

Your hair, wet.

Touching your face,

Skin silken like petalos de rosas

Tracing your head,

Knowing your scent.


My body-mind given for you.

My body imprinted with your shape.

Watching the stillness before spring again—

Red buds, their tender existence on maple branches.

The unfolding of my new identity:

Being, breathing here.

Enjoying Ofrenda?

Earth/Side: for Gabriel

decorative image of mother holding child

EARTH/SIDE: FOR GABRIEL is a mosaic of writings from 2020-2021 that I started weaving together after birthing my son, Gabriel, in November 2020. This piece began as a non-linear narrative about the time in my life leading up to his conception, through my pregnancy, and into the post-birthing cuarentena (40 days postpartum) and fourth trimester. As I was piecing these writings together to become a cohesive poem, it took on a more linear shape; this was happening alongside my internal processing of our birth story.

At the heart of this poem is the recognition of pregnancy as a middle-ground or liminal space between the worlds of conceiving (creation) and birthing (guiding someone into an earthly existence). Dar a luz (to birth/bring forth light) is a transitional state between inside/outside of the womb. Through the process of birth, the birthing person takes on the journey of guiding a new being from one phase of being into another. This poem is also about the passage of stepping into being a mama, about the shift in identity from my pre-baby days to understanding what it means to be a mama to a new baby.

As I was writing this poem, I was also thinking about how Gabriel was “transverse breech” (in biomedical terms), and despite my efforts to encourage him to move, he stayed in this sideways lying position (necessitating a c-section). While assembling this poem, I was surrendering the “perfect birth” narrative I had created by seeing that despite things not going how I envisioned, I brought strength to the beautiful ceremony of welcoming Gabriel.


Earth/Side: for Gabriel

Becoming into light/ness.

Weaving bones & muscle

Vessels & cells

Fabric of eternity

Water-Memory.

Preparing a place for you:

Aquí te espero.


I am in the garden with the golden light,

Your Baba

& I

Manzanilla, calendula, lavender, plumajillo.

I steep myself in ceremony,

& walk through the quiet months.


Looking for you:

Will you be familiar?

Will you be familial?


You, side-ways in your womb-like home.

Skin stretching my body of water

Held by river currents coursing through

ancestors—me—you:

Esperando oír tu voz.


Out-breath,

Ombligo rising above,

Emerging like hyacinth, like crocus.

Tides pulling gravity.

Water flowing from

Other waters

Everywhere,

Flowers singing:

“El día en que tu naciste nacieron todas las flores.”


Shifter of sleep/Your hair like feathers,

Your hair, wet.

Touching your face,

Skin silken like petalos de rosas

Tracing your head,

Knowing your scent.


My body-mind given for you.

My body imprinted with your shape.

Watching the stillness before spring again—

Red buds, their tender existence on maple branches.

The unfolding of my new identity:

Being, breathing here.

Enjoying Ofrenda?

Earth/Side: for Gabriel

decorative image of mother holding child

EARTH/SIDE: FOR GABRIEL is a mosaic of writings from 2020-2021 that I started weaving together after birthing my son, Gabriel, in November 2020. This piece began as a non-linear narrative about the time in my life leading up to his conception, through my pregnancy, and into the post-birthing cuarentena (40 days postpartum) and fourth trimester. As I was piecing these writings together to become a cohesive poem, it took on a more linear shape; this was happening alongside my internal processing of our birth story.

At the heart of this poem is the recognition of pregnancy as a middle-ground or liminal space between the worlds of conceiving (creation) and birthing (guiding someone into an earthly existence). Dar a luz (to birth/bring forth light) is a transitional state between inside/outside of the womb. Through the process of birth, the birthing person takes on the journey of guiding a new being from one phase of being into another. This poem is also about the passage of stepping into being a mama, about the shift in identity from my pre-baby days to understanding what it means to be a mama to a new baby.

As I was writing this poem, I was also thinking about how Gabriel was “transverse breech” (in biomedical terms), and despite my efforts to encourage him to move, he stayed in this sideways lying position (necessitating a c-section). While assembling this poem, I was surrendering the “perfect birth” narrative I had created by seeing that despite things not going how I envisioned, I brought strength to the beautiful ceremony of welcoming Gabriel.


Earth/Side: for Gabriel

Becoming into light/ness.

Weaving bones & muscle

Vessels & cells

Fabric of eternity

Water-Memory.

Preparing a place for you:

Aquí te espero.


I am in the garden with the golden light,

Your Baba

& I

Manzanilla, calendula, lavender, plumajillo.

I steep myself in ceremony,

& walk through the quiet months.


Looking for you:

Will you be familiar?

Will you be familial?


You, side-ways in your womb-like home.

Skin stretching my body of water

Held by river currents coursing through

ancestors—me—you:

Esperando oír tu voz.


Out-breath,

Ombligo rising above,

Emerging like hyacinth, like crocus.

Tides pulling gravity.

Water flowing from

Other waters

Everywhere,

Flowers singing:

“El día en que tu naciste nacieron todas las flores.”


Shifter of sleep/Your hair like feathers,

Your hair, wet.

Touching your face,

Skin silken like petalos de rosas

Tracing your head,

Knowing your scent.


My body-mind given for you.

My body imprinted with your shape.

Watching the stillness before spring again—

Red buds, their tender existence on maple branches.

The unfolding of my new identity:

Being, breathing here.

Enjoying Ofrenda?

“Earth/Side: for Gabriel” as read by the author

Earth/Side: for Gabriel

decorative image of mother holding child

EARTH/SIDE: FOR GABRIEL is a mosaic of writings from 2020-2021 that I started weaving together after birthing my son, Gabriel, in November 2020. This piece began as a non-linear narrative about the time in my life leading up to his conception, through my pregnancy, and into the post-birthing cuarentena (40 days postpartum) and fourth trimester. As I was piecing these writings together to become a cohesive poem, it took on a more linear shape; this was happening alongside my internal processing of our birth story.

At the heart of this poem is the recognition of pregnancy as a middle-ground or liminal space between the worlds of conceiving (creation) and birthing (guiding someone into an earthly existence). Dar a luz (to birth/bring forth light) is a transitional state between inside/outside of the womb. Through the process of birth, the birthing person takes on the journey of guiding a new being from one phase of being into another. This poem is also about the passage of stepping into being a mama, about the shift in identity from my pre-baby days to understanding what it means to be a mama to a new baby.

As I was writing this poem, I was also thinking about how Gabriel was “transverse breech” (in biomedical terms), and despite my efforts to encourage him to move, he stayed in this sideways lying position (necessitating a c-section). While assembling this poem, I was surrendering the “perfect birth” narrative I had created by seeing that despite things not going how I envisioned, I brought strength to the beautiful ceremony of welcoming Gabriel.


Earth/Side: for Gabriel

Becoming into light/ness.

Weaving bones & muscle

Vessels & cells

Fabric of eternity

Water-Memory.

Preparing a place for you:

Aquí te espero.


I am in the garden with the golden light,

Your Baba

& I

Manzanilla, calendula, lavender, plumajillo.

I steep myself in ceremony,

& walk through the quiet months.


Looking for you:

Will you be familiar?

Will you be familial?


You, side-ways in your womb-like home.

Skin stretching my body of water

Held by river currents coursing through

ancestors—me—you:

Esperando oír tu voz.


Out-breath,

Ombligo rising above,

Emerging like hyacinth, like crocus.

Tides pulling gravity.

Water flowing from

Other waters

Everywhere,

Flowers singing:

“El día en que tu naciste nacieron todas las flores.”


Shifter of sleep/Your hair like feathers,

Your hair, wet.

Touching your face,

Skin silken like petalos de rosas

Tracing your head,

Knowing your scent.


My body-mind given for you.

My body imprinted with your shape.

Watching the stillness before spring again—

Red buds, their tender existence on maple branches.

The unfolding of my new identity:

Being, breathing here.

Enjoying Ofrenda?

“Earth/Side: for Gabriel” as read by the author

Earth/Side: for Gabriel

decorative image of mother holding child

EARTH/SIDE: FOR GABRIEL is a mosaic of writings from 2020-2021 that I started weaving together after birthing my son, Gabriel, in November 2020. This piece began as a non-linear narrative about the time in my life leading up to his conception, through my pregnancy, and into the post-birthing cuarentena (40 days postpartum) and fourth trimester. As I was piecing these writings together to become a cohesive poem, it took on a more linear shape; this was happening alongside my internal processing of our birth story.

At the heart of this poem is the recognition of pregnancy as a middle-ground or liminal space between the worlds of conceiving (creation) and birthing (guiding someone into an earthly existence). Dar a luz (to birth/bring forth light) is a transitional state between inside/outside of the womb. Through the process of birth, the birthing person takes on the journey of guiding a new being from one phase of being into another. This poem is also about the passage of stepping into being a mama, about the shift in identity from my pre-baby days to understanding what it means to be a mama to a new baby.

As I was writing this poem, I was also thinking about how Gabriel was “transverse breech” (in biomedical terms), and despite my efforts to encourage him to move, he stayed in this sideways lying position (necessitating a c-section). While assembling this poem, I was surrendering the “perfect birth” narrative I had created by seeing that despite things not going how I envisioned, I brought strength to the beautiful ceremony of welcoming Gabriel.


Earth/Side: for Gabriel

Becoming into light/ness.

Weaving bones & muscle

Vessels & cells

Fabric of eternity

Water-Memory.

Preparing a place for you:

Aquí te espero.


I am in the garden with the golden light,

Your Baba

& I

Manzanilla, calendula, lavender, plumajillo.

I steep myself in ceremony,

& walk through the quiet months.


Looking for you:

Will you be familiar?

Will you be familial?


You, side-ways in your womb-like home.

Skin stretching my body of water

Held by river currents coursing through

ancestors—me—you:

Esperando oír tu voz.


Out-breath,

Ombligo rising above,

Emerging like hyacinth, like crocus.

Tides pulling gravity.

Water flowing from

Other waters

Everywhere,

Flowers singing:

“El día en que tu naciste nacieron todas las flores.”


Shifter of sleep/Your hair like feathers,

Your hair, wet.

Touching your face,

Skin silken like petalos de rosas

Tracing your head,

Knowing your scent.


My body-mind given for you.

My body imprinted with your shape.

Watching the stillness before spring again—

Red buds, their tender existence on maple branches.

The unfolding of my new identity:

Being, breathing here.

Enjoying Ofrenda?

Earth/Side: for Gabriel

decorative image of mother holding child

EARTH/SIDE: FOR GABRIEL is a mosaic of writings from 2020-2021 that I started weaving together after birthing my son, Gabriel, in November 2020. This piece began as a non-linear narrative about the time in my life leading up to his conception, through my pregnancy, and into the post-birthing cuarentena (40 days postpartum) and fourth trimester. As I was piecing these writings together to become a cohesive poem, it took on a more linear shape; this was happening alongside my internal processing of our birth story.

At the heart of this poem is the recognition of pregnancy as a middle-ground or liminal space between the worlds of conceiving (creation) and birthing (guiding someone into an earthly existence). Dar a luz (to birth/bring forth light) is a transitional state between inside/outside of the womb. Through the process of birth, the birthing person takes on the journey of guiding a new being from one phase of being into another. This poem is also about the passage of stepping into being a mama, about the shift in identity from my pre-baby days to understanding what it means to be a mama to a new baby.

As I was writing this poem, I was also thinking about how Gabriel was “transverse breech” (in biomedical terms), and despite my efforts to encourage him to move, he stayed in this sideways lying position (necessitating a c-section). While assembling this poem, I was surrendering the “perfect birth” narrative I had created by seeing that despite things not going how I envisioned, I brought strength to the beautiful ceremony of welcoming Gabriel.


Earth/Side: for Gabriel

Becoming into light/ness.

Weaving bones & muscle

Vessels & cells

Fabric of eternity

Water-Memory.

Preparing a place for you:

Aquí te espero.


I am in the garden with the golden light,

Your Baba

& I

Manzanilla, calendula, lavender, plumajillo.

I steep myself in ceremony,

& walk through the quiet months.


Looking for you:

Will you be familiar?

Will you be familial?


You, side-ways in your womb-like home.

Skin stretching my body of water

Held by river currents coursing through

ancestors—me—you:

Esperando oír tu voz.


Out-breath,

Ombligo rising above,

Emerging like hyacinth, like crocus.

Tides pulling gravity.

Water flowing from

Other waters

Everywhere,

Flowers singing:

“El día en que tu naciste nacieron todas las flores.”


Shifter of sleep/Your hair like feathers,

Your hair, wet.

Touching your face,

Skin silken like petalos de rosas

Tracing your head,

Knowing your scent.


My body-mind given for you.

My body imprinted with your shape.

Watching the stillness before spring again—

Red buds, their tender existence on maple branches.

The unfolding of my new identity:

Being, breathing here.

Earth/Side: for Gabriel

decorative image of mother holding child

EARTH/SIDE: FOR GABRIEL is a mosaic of writings from 2020-2021 that I started weaving together after birthing my son, Gabriel, in November 2020. This piece began as a non-linear narrative about the time in my life leading up to his conception, through my pregnancy, and into the post-birthing cuarentena (40 days postpartum) and fourth trimester. As I was piecing these writings together to become a cohesive poem, it took on a more linear shape; this was happening alongside my internal processing of our birth story.

At the heart of this poem is the recognition of pregnancy as a middle-ground or liminal space between the worlds of conceiving (creation) and birthing (guiding someone into an earthly existence). Dar a luz (to birth/bring forth light) is a transitional state between inside/outside of the womb. Through the process of birth, the birthing person takes on the journey of guiding a new being from one phase of being into another. This poem is also about the passage of stepping into being a mama, about the shift in identity from my pre-baby days to understanding what it means to be a mama to a new baby.

As I was writing this poem, I was also thinking about how Gabriel was “transverse breech” (in biomedical terms), and despite my efforts to encourage him to move, he stayed in this sideways lying position (necessitating a c-section). While assembling this poem, I was surrendering the “perfect birth” narrative I had created by seeing that despite things not going how I envisioned, I brought strength to the beautiful ceremony of welcoming Gabriel.


Earth/Side: for Gabriel

Becoming into light/ness.

Weaving bones & muscle

Vessels & cells

Fabric of eternity

Water-Memory.

Preparing a place for you:

Aquí te espero.


I am in the garden with the golden light,

Your Baba

& I

Manzanilla, calendula, lavender, plumajillo.

I steep myself in ceremony,

& walk through the quiet months.


Looking for you:

Will you be familiar?

Will you be familial?


You, side-ways in your womb-like home.

Skin stretching my body of water

Held by river currents coursing through

ancestors—me—you:

Esperando oír tu voz.


Out-breath,

Ombligo rising above,

Emerging like hyacinth, like crocus.

Tides pulling gravity.

Water flowing from

Other waters

Everywhere,

Flowers singing:

“El día en que tu naciste nacieron todas las flores.”


Shifter of sleep/Your hair like feathers,

Your hair, wet.

Touching your face,

Skin silken like petalos de rosas

Tracing your head,

Knowing your scent.


My body-mind given for you.

My body imprinted with your shape.

Watching the stillness before spring again—

Red buds, their tender existence on maple branches.

The unfolding of my new identity:

Being, breathing here.

The Practice of Intention

1

If possible, play music that inspires you to be calm. This is the time to look inward. Turn off any external distractions; silence your phone.

2

Close your eyes, taking a moment to “feel” how different and peaceful it is to have the eyes closed.

3

Take three very slow and deep breaths, trying to fill out the bottom of your lungs. Inhale and exhale slowly.

4

With either hand, take a little bit of tobacco or some dry herbs—like lavender, sage, rosemary, basil, rose petals, a combination of all of them, or imagine them, if you don’t have any. In the Curanderismo tradition, it is believed that these plants have energy that can help us communicate more deeply with the spirit realm, and focus with concentration and a sense of calm.

5

Place your hand with the herbs at the center of your chest. That is the area known as the heart chakra. Take another deep and slow breath.

6

Very slowly, start directing your attention to one or more of the emotions mentioned before: love, gratitude, happiness, and peace.

7

Then, also very slowly, start your prayer, being careful that you genuinely mean what you are saying. If you are reciting a prayer in another language, make sure you say it first in your native language and then in the other language.

8

At the end of each sentence from your prayer, add a vibration of any of the emotions. Once you feel the emotions, move them throughout your body until it is vibrating. This is a very important step because this vibration is creating electromagnetic energy that will help you manifest what you are asking for.

9

Carry on with your prayer until you are done. Remember not to rush. By the end, your body should be vibrating, and from there you are going to send gratitude to the Universe, to the spirits, to your ancestors, to everyone for hearing your prayer and making it happen.

10

If you are conducting a ceremony or ritual, empowering a place or a spiritual tool, asking for healing, or something similar, you can cup your hands and transfer all of these beautiful energies into your hands and into the mixture of herbs. Then you can offer these herbs by placing them on your altar (if you have one), placing your hands on the part of the body that you want to heal, or offering the herbs to Mother Earth.

11

Finish by staying still for a moment, just feeling this beautiful energy that you have created.

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