Thursday, November 27, 2003

Soil Chart

Soil Chart
Stacey Greenberg

Thanks to everyone who responded so positively to my last issue. I am feeling much better and am doing really well. Having a miscarriage definitely changed me in a profound way. I realized that I was now part of a new club, the miscarriage club I guess you’d call it. I feel like I can really relate to the issue a lot better now and have been doing a lot of reading. My friend Laura wrote a great piece on miscarriage that I have included in this issue. She takes a much lighter approach than I did with “Unbirth” and I think her style is just fantastic. Also in this issue you will find not one, but TWO birth stories that detail drug/intervention free *hospital* births. Hearing stories like these always makes me happy. I’ve also included a birth story by Bee Lavender that not only details the birth of her son, but of the Hip Mama community.

Don’t worry, issue four isn’t all about birth. I have some great stories on raising babies, being a lactivist, growing up Jewish, plus a fiction piece by Fertile Ground’s most celebrated contributor, Ashley Harper, and lots of fun stuff like a Lactivist quiz, a cunt for you to color, and much much more. I hope you like this issue and that you will consider renewing your subscription and maybe even buying some gift subscriptions! See the back page for more details.

Oh and I can’t forget to tell you that I’m pregnant again! My due date is just two days shy of Satchel’s second birthday (April 21, 2004)! Last but not least, I wanted to share my very first “Letter to the Editor.” It’s from my good friend Beth who was in my Peace Corps training group. It’s letters like this that make doing this zine so fulfilling. Thanks for reading.

Dear Stacey,

I got FG #3 on Saturday after having worked the whole day. I cracked open the zine as soon as I got home and started reading it back to front, as many lefties do. I was a quarter through your piece "Unbirth" when we were supposed to walk across the street to a neighbor's house for a BBQ. I read while we walked and almost tripped a dozen times.

Then Paul and Gabriel left me on the front porch steps as I continued to read, totally oblivious to anything else, while they went inside. I sat there reading and musing until my friend came out to inquire about me. I had a hard time saying anything. I just didn't want to talk to her. I didn't want to talk to anyone who hadn't read the zine, or been in the Peace Corps, or known me since childhood, or god damn it- heard some of my real stories! While reading FG, I felt connected to a part of myself that yearns to express parenting and life issues with more depth and intelligent humor. But as your literary voice came through so clearly, I really missed YOU. I was truly remembering hearing some of your life stories for the FIRST time when we sat outside under African skies drinking 32 oz. beers and avoiding going back to our Cameroonian homestay parents. I thought about the amazing ways that you have grown and changed and I wondered if I had??? I felt envious that you have made creative writing/ editing/ literary pursuits a priority and therefore held onto so many of your stories.

Sometimes I feel totally disconnected to my past, like I have run from my own stories and buried them...bored of them...ashamed of them....used the excuse of busy lives…surviving... sustaining myself with convenient friendships in which I can morph too comfortably into someone who doesn't mind just shooting the shit while the kids play in the yard. I am secretly wishing that some of my own stories had already been recorded because I don't believe I will be able to return to the place I need to go to feel them in order to write them now the way that I want them to be. In high school, I kept a journal for a few sporadic years, even thought about being a writer. I remember the "high" I felt when I was able to unload some of my adolescent angst onto the pages of that pink, flowered book, carefully reading and re-reading my words, trying to act as my own therapist. When my parents got divorced my senior year I think I decided that my writing was just childish rambling and in order to grow up quickly I put away the flowered journals.

Once in college, I poured my heart out in a 5 page letter to an older guy I was dating back home. It was the cliff notes to the years since that I hadn't kept a journal at all. After he broke my heart, I wanted that letter back so badly. I fantasized about traveling around the country retrieving his, and all of my other letters, to ex-boyfriends, friends and relatives and sealing them all safe in a metal box. I was just GIVING away my stories to people, but not wanting, or able, to own them and care for them properly. Eventually, my letter writing tapered off to sporadic notes to people I owed words to. I then took to reading medical texts, lactation and parenting guide books, then drug addiction memoirs and autobiographies, almost exclusively. Unable to finish a work of fiction in the past five years, I continue to make comments like, "I guess I am just more attracted to other people's 'real life' stories at this point.

Stacey, just wanted you to know that your words were truly HEARD by me, not in the trash or on a shelf, or in the ground. In reading your work and missing you, I have recognized that I miss ME. Hope this is a start to rediscovering my stories.


*Please don’t hesitate to send your own love letter to me!*

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