Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Kokopelli and healthy choices

So when I was 20 and in college I decided I wanted to get a tattoo. My family had taken a trip to the southwest the summer before my senior year in college and I loved it. When we were in Moab Utah my Mom purchased a steel Kokopelli wall hanging. I always loved this figure and eventually decided I would get a tattoo of it. I did some research and was a little alarmed to find out exactly the legend of Kokopelli.

Here is what I found when I googled recently (www.indigenouspeople.net/kokopelli):

Known as a fertility god, prankster, healer and story teller, Kokopelli has been a source of wonder throughout the country for centuries. Kokopelli embodies the true American Southwest, and dates back over 3,000 years ago, when the first petroglyphs were carved. Although his true origins are unknown, this traveling, flute-playing Casanova is a sacred figure to many Southwestern Native Americans. Carvings of this hunch-backed flute-playing figure have been found painted and carved into rock walls and boulders throughout the Southwest.

There are many myths of the famous Kokopelli. One of which is that he traveled from village to village bringing the changing of winter to spring; melting the snow and bringing about rain for a successful harvest. It is also said that the hunch on his back depicted the sacks of seeds and songs he carried. Legend also has it that the flute playing also symbolized the transition of winter to spring. Kokopelli’s flute is said to be heard in the spring’s breeze, while bringing warmth. It is also said that he was the source of human conception. Legend has it, everyone in the village would sing and dance throughout the night when they heard Kokopelli play his flute. The next morning, every maiden in the village would be with child.
Whatever the true meaning of Kokopelli is, he has been a source of music making and dancing, and spreading joy to those around him. Even today, Kokopelli, with his hunchback and flute, is always welcome in our homes.

The legend of Kokopelli (pronounced "Coke-a-pellie") is well-preserved in ancient rock carvings and paintings dating back as far as 3,000 years. His legend however, is no less popular today - having survived more than one hundred generations. Below, is a compilation of stories collected through many hours of research. Certainly, you can find more stories (and images in Art) on the World wide web.

I knew Kokopelli was a fertility symbol, but at the time I stuck more with the changing seasons theme. I live in Upstate NY and am always so glad when winter's wrath gives way to the new life of spring. Nowadays I think more about this symbol I chose to tattoo on my body. My Mom eventually gave me the wall hanging and I had up on various walls  in my various bedrooms all through college. My husband and I ended up living out West for about 2 years (In Wyoming) but we took a trip to Moab. We went to the same gallery where the artwork was purchased and looked at Kokopelli. He gave me some crazy looks when I told him what it symbolized. I said, I know it's a fertility symbol, but I really like it (and I guess I secretly hoped it will came in handy some day). Well, reading today that Kokopelli was known as a "prankster" makes me intrigued. When we moved into our new house in October and with life's current journey I put him back up on my wall. He now hangs to one side of our bed in our bedroom. 

It is amazing how all-consuming infertility can be. I took this Monday and Tuesday off from work (the perks on making your own schedule) but have found myself reading endless blogs and forums about IVF and infertility. I feel like my husband wants me to stop talking about it so much, but I can't help it. The bad part about my job and making my own schedule is that I don't have the social perks of an office. I work as a traveling speech therapist with young children and only come in contact with their families. This leaves a lot of time to myself while driving from house to house. I recently have been listening to a book on CD, but it is hard to keep my mind away from infertility. I have one family I work with who knows the journey we are currently going though and it is only because she has been there herself. When her FOUR boys under 7 are all competing for her attention, she looks at me and says "Be careful what you wish for."She conceived her first 3 boys through IVF and two pregnancies (first one was a singleton second time twins) but it took a few tries before it was successful. Her fourth boy was conceived naturally and she still doesn't know how. They never knew her reason for infertility, but obviously she was able to get pregnant naturally. Apart from her, I don't have anyone else to talk about it all with except my hubby. I feel like I can't go even a day without bringing up something about it to him. I feel like he is sick of hearing it all, but I can't help it. In my mind, I don't go a few hours without thinking about it. 

Yesterday we went cross country skiing in a forrest nearby. It was incredibly peaceful and we just trudged along with our thoughts to ourselves. The dogs had a fantastic time and were running back and forth, covered in snow. We are hoping to go again today since he will be home early from work. For some time I didn't think about infertility and the journey we have been on, but undoubtably my thoughts returned there. I told my hubby last night that maybe as a New year's resolution I will stop looking up so much stuff on the internet. I have to say though it is nice to find others are in a similar position. I have found a forum where I am able to connect with other women going through or starting the IVF process. I see so much optimism there and am able to stay hopeful for our odds. 

We watched an interesting documentary last night on Netflix entitled Food Matters.

 It was all about eating healthy and adding supplements to our diets rather than treating with medicine. I think this backs my feelings initially about Metformin. I was glad when my RE didn't want to put me on it because I know it is basically a "lifetime" drug. I know I have PCOS for a reason other than the fact that my father is diabetic and insulin resistance runs in the family. It must be related to my diet and maybe even a deficiency I have. They touched on the fact that about 50% of our meals should be raw food because when he cook our food the nutrients are lost. I think we will be eating more salads and raw foods. I would love to get to the root of my PCOS problem, but aren't sure exactly how to go about this. My hubby was also intrigued and agreed that the food we put into our bodies is the most important (over nice clothes, vacations, updates to the house) so this is what we will focus our money and energy on.

Over time we have switched to only whole grains and have basically cut sugar out of our diets. The holidays are difficult, especially with all the candy and cookies I received as gifts. In addition, we use only natural cleaning products, soaps, shampoos and conditioners. When we buys meat and dairy we buy organic. We try with our produce, but that tends to be more difficult. Today I went out and bought some Green Tea with Echinacea in hopes it will help my cough to feel better. In addition, I bought some Odwalla Superfood bars. I used to drink this smoothie and plan to replace the bar with my morning whey protein smoothie. I plan to do more research and hope this can distract me some from getting pregnant/IVF. Not only is a distraction, but it may also help my body be in the best shape possible for the treatments.

See, I actually was able to think about my diet and lifestyle for a few minutes without talking about infertility. But like always, I am back on that thought!

1 comment:

  1. HopefulUpstateNYer - Great blog! I have enjoyed reading.

    anhwth - from the Jan IVF Forum