The desire to become pregnant, with child. To inhabit a perfect, alien body. To give birth, breasts filled with milk. The delirium of those first few months, a timeless, formless space, day and night overlapping seamlessly. The pleasure of that small body stuck to mine, to my breast, nursing every three hours. Dozing off, delirium, exhaustion. A body sustained by my own. So many intense, contradictory, startling emotions. And at some point, sliding into another scene, an imperceptible, radical transition.

 

Insomnia, circular thinking. Suddenly, I find myself in a place that terrifies me. A slow and tortuous passage through a dark tunnel. My body urges me to enter, to listen. Memories crowding into my body. Motionless, I listen to that voice inside my head. Alert. Withdrawn, pensive, suspended between two times. Paralyzed with fear, one false move might trigger collapse. Horrifying, unsuspected monsters could be released. My childhood fear. Fear of what lies within.

 

Games, affection, contact, photographs return me to the present for a while. Intense, pleasant sensations that govern everything. And yet, my children are the ones who summon me back to that other scene.

 

I have erased nearly all my childhood memories. Those that remain are anchored in my grandmother’s photos. Kinderwunsch, children and desire. The desire to have children. German, the language of my infancy. Recovering that desire from the girl in those snapshots. The intensity of affection, passion, depression.

 

Desire as an inward and outward journey. A vital process.