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  • Writer's pictureAstrid Van Gramberen

Cast Away

When I slept on Brendan's couch, with my friend, in 2014, we made up nick names for him and his roommates. I wrote those names, amongst other impressions while traveling, down on a copied version of the map of New Zealand. Most evenings, I wrote down some random things of the day down on my map. That way it would entail all the memories that matter most to me, and the map became a treasure to me. Brendan's nick name back then was 'Cast to the Wild', a combination of Cast Away (the movie) and Into the Wild (likewise). A while ago, we watched Cast Away together. It was Brendan's first time!

We genoten van de film; op een rare manier een heel 'gewone' film, over kleine menselijke dingen zoals de behoefte aan sociaal contact, het verstrijken van de tijd, het vasthouden van de tijd, overleven zonder je geliefden, hopen en wanhopen. De terugkeer van Tom Hanks op het einde van de film in de snelle wereld, die hij noodgedwongen achterliet, raakte me.

I felt like Tom Hanks a bit, when I arrived in Belgium a month ago. Trying to catch up with time. When I planned this Belgian trip, I knew the month of August would be all about landing and processing. To be away for a year and a half, and be pregnant and give birth in that time that we were away, that is a whole lot to process. The weird thing is - how do you do that, how do you process? You don't see it on the outside, but your brain is definitely 'working overtime' sometimes, isn't it?

I feel like, since Maurice is born, part of me wants to stand still. And with an 8-months old baby who loves to move around, you can imagine how difficult that is! During pregnancy I was lucky to spend a lot of 'still', inwards moments. Moments with a cup of tea, laying down, preparing for your baby to come, taking care of your body, watching Netflix, journaling, doing yoga, contemplating life, enjoying food cravings, like a true preggie crying just for fun,... I loved how I could surrender to being pregnant, it is such an 'inward' time! (Actually, now I think back about it - I really had to learn this too - surrendering to being pregnant. Surrendering to the hidden processes of life, there in your belly, and brain for sure, to the peace of being, to being '(re)productive' while doing nothing, ha. After a while I got the hang of it and then I loved it.) During the first months when Maurice was born, I still remember those small moments of stillness and going inwards - drinking a cup of coffee with your baby next to you, creating space for that storm of hormones inside of you. ZALIG. But lately, those moments are rare. The storm that is called 'baby Maurice' is a fact. Parenthood feels like a ride on a very fast train. The landscape changes daily.

Vandaag kruipt Maurice, trekt hij zichzelf op, trekt hij aan alles dat los zit en beweegt, en klimt hij op dozen. Zelfs tijdens borstvoeding murwt hij, kijkt hij op, stampt hij met zijn beentjes. Hij doet ook soms een 'walvissen-move', dan hijst hij zijn bovenlichaam op en 'pletst' hij terug in het water (aka op mijn lijf), zijwaarts. Hij is zo graag actief. Bewegen en babbelen! Mijn behoefte aan 'stille' momenten, waarin ik even kan 'processen', wordt dus uitgedaagd momenteel.

It's not only the different phase of baby Maurice that confronts me with my need of standing still. Here in Belgium, sometimes I feel a bit like Tom Hanks, who came back from his little island. Life goes on on the main land - here in Belgium, babies grow into toddlers, babies are born into the world, ... Some things never change and some things do change, like road facilities in Leuven, haha! And us, me, Maurice, Brendan, we changed as well of course. There is so much to catch up with.

Een deel van mij wil graag samen stil staan, want 'processen' kan je ook samen doen - wat is er gebeurd in België? Wat is er ondertussen op ons eiland gebeurd? Hoe heb je je gevoeld? Wat heb je geleerd? Welke momenten waren super belangrijk voor jou? Wat heeft je erdoor geholpen op moeilijke momenten? Hoe sta je momenteel in het leven? ... Een ander deel zit op de Maurice-sneltrein, elke dag iets nieuws en dat is zo tof! Heel gemakkelijk ook om je 'aan over te geven', er is geen ontsnappen aan, aan de ontwikkeling van zo'n baby. Ik bewonder dat zo hard, hoe hij groeit en ontdekt en verandert.

Time doesn't stand still - but there is always time to stand still, I believe. So yesterday, I bought myself a new notebook. I had a 'pregnancy-notebook', where I wrote down daily thoughts bout me becoming a mum, my body, pregnancy, Brendan and our relationship, little spirit (aka Maurice) and my insecurities and hopes and dreams for him and us. I realized that I needed a new one, to journal about being a mum, a place where I can try to make sense of this crazy and wild adventure. A place to stand still. A place to embrace the wild ride. A place that reminds you that it is okay that it is messy, or a lot, and that you've got this, that processing is a hidden proces that happens in small steps. A proces that starts with allowing it to be in your life - the bigness. It is okay, it will find it's place.

Ik besliste toen ook om deze website de wereld in te sturen. Een plaats om stil te staan en indrukken te delen!

Waar vind jij een plek om stil te kunnen staan? Hoe doe je dat?

Where do you find some space to stand still?

How do you stand still?



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