Elan Vital

Oh, boy!  Today I mustered up enough courage to share a very old poem of mine.  I wrote this after the birth of my first child, in 2003.  Becoming a mother has been rewarding, of course, but while changing from only caring for myself to being responsible for another being, I felt overwhelmed and scared most days.  I quit my job, sold most of my belongings and my car, and moved from Oklahoma to Washington, DC to be with my husband for his career.

I worked until the day I drove myself to the hospital to deliver my son.  Within a day, I went from being an independent workaholic to a stay-at-home mom, dependent on someone else to provide my needs and wants.  I didn’t sleep while the baby slept.  I couldn’t.  I had to feel productive.  Sleep was not in my formula of productivity!  Instead, I showered, cleaned the house, redecorated, made dinner, went for a stroll, shopped or took some time to write.

One day, I wrote this poem, as I felt compelled to shift the focus of my loss of autonomy and newfound dependence on my husband, to the dependence my newborn son had for me.  This poem was a way for me to release the emotions I had over the delivery experience.  There was an extremely stressful moment when the cord wrapped around my son and he couldn’t breathe.  It was a moment that was very hard to shake.  I remember trying to be strong and brave in the hospital bed, but helpless to the situation.  I could only turn to my side, pray for a miracle and wait.

My husband missed the birth by a few short hours.  So, after I wrote this, I asked my husband to read this poem and tell me what he thought it represented.  Of course, he thought I was writing about him.  I think he was relieved when I told him he was wrong!  That is what I have always loved and found so wonderful about writing prose.  Poetry is universal.

You know what I just realized?!  That was the first time I ever let someone else read my poetry.  WOW.

Cheers to stretching ourselves and putting the rawness of life out there!  Enjoy this old, old poem and tell me what / how the words relate to your life.

Elan Vital

It is time to go on, alone,
My dependence has become bothersome.
The pressure is thrusting me forward.

Hear the screams.
Hear the panting.

My heart is stopping.
I can go no further.

Too much is happening too fast.
There is increasing pressure.

I stretch, I breathe.

Seeking touch to calm my fears,
Praying for arms of comfort,
Elan Vital, this is the impulse of life.

Until next time –

Simply Live,


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