Friends. We moved! It's been a longtime coming and still was a hard decision to make. It's been a messy process. Speaking of messy, we are surrounded by boxes. The kids have started school and I have spent too many hours getting over-the-door hangers for every door I see. I texted Tim a picture of a hanger that holds belts the other day. Do you need one of these? This is what my life has become and I'm fine with it. Insert intelligent analysis of free labor done by women for home and country! But also, there is real food for me in chop wood, carry water work. (Wax on, wax off, etc.) I also feel like creativity thrives in constraints, and I'm trying to realize this in my body, to not panic about being a mom of somewhat small kids with ambitions of my own.
I recently emailed a health update to family and friends. Traditionally I've been private about some of the details in my life (while also plastering photos of my kids on the internet) but something about this brain tumor has made me understand how much we are in this sordid mess together - this mess being life, of course, which is pretty heartbreaking. Of course I'm coming to see how much beauty is woven into heartbreak - you can't have one without the other. (If you'd like to read about my tumor diagnosis, I wrote about it here and about my surgery here.) If we learn nothing else from COVID, I hope we learn how intrinsically connected we all are. I'm speaking to myself here, too, someone who always needs a reminder that I can't do everything myself, and don't need to.
I've been feeling an itch to catalogue here more. I'm afraid what this will mean - will the writing be unpolished? Will I bore people with unwelcome anecdotes about children? (Why is it so hard to talk about parenthood and/or caring for young people while the experience itself is so profoundly transformative???)
In the past, I've been waiting to have things more together to share it with you. I think I've wanted to be entertaining or helpful or something. I think I've also wanted to be an impressive version of myself and . . . that version isn't coming! Lol. I might as well help myself by being present in my days and maybe sharing it with you? I'm not sure what form this will take. At first I was like, I'll do before and after photos of each room in our house! But while I'm obsessed with decorating interiors (I have never met a wall I didn't have an urge to paint or a throw pillow I didn't have an instant opinion on) I don't know how much I want to be influenced by what is or is not an "after" moment. I also really care about how a room feels, and feelings are hard to photograph which is why I'm a writer, not a fashion model. I'm not going to win prizes for all the floppy pants I wear (or will I??) but I can whine about sadness in an artful manner and that can win friends! Ha. To be honest, I think I have been more concerned about how artful I'm being or am not, and I'd rather focus on expression now both because it's a healthier way to operate and . . . it's a healthier way to operate.
I'd like to visit this space more frequently and perhaps less cohesively. Personal snippets, helpful quotes, etc. etc. I need writing for clarity and I could use some clarity these days! If you're picturing me sobbing behind a mound of moving boxes, you're not not correct. I'm joking but you get the idea. There is something deeply soothing to me about making things. I honestly believe creativity is the core of who we are. So, see you soon?
My bedside is still piled with books (my son once tried to join me on the bed and couldn’t rest his head for all the volumes which he shoved aside with disgust. “Ugh! Why are you reading so many BOOKS?” I said honestly didn’t know, they just bring me joy.) Right now the piles tend toward theology; less fiction, more narratives of grief and tales of healing.
[Reading Update: I just started What Happens at Night by Peter Cameron which Amelia gave me and it is beautiful. I'm also (still) trying to finish Underworld by Don DeLillo which I started with a friend last year because we are insane. It's like reading someone else's free-writes, snorting someone's practice pages. It happened to get published but didn't necessarily need to? I also don't hate it. It's just . . . long. I really like the subplot about the mystery garbage / barge sailing around the world looking for a place to land. It's DeLillo at his best, a darkly comic mirror held up to our worst habits.]