It’s true, I’ve realized lately. In the new paradigm I inhabit with my unwilling and unruly children, I’ve retreated the tiniest bit, back into my nest. Part of it is the divorce and my children’s emotional space- How much can I write about where I’m at without violating their small personal space? I don’t have that answer. It doesn’t help that the loose ends are not all cut yet, and there are ravelling strings blowing in the wind, and as the strings ravel and knot, they become nests of their own. Despite the divorce being legal and final. Is “final” even in the equation when you have three precious children? No matter how big the mistakes that were made? All the non-answers float around my head and steal my sleep.
Jeffrey asked me where my wedding ring was today. It’s the small pebbles in your shoe that trip you up- like a child thinking his parents’ marriage implodes is because he lost the cufflinks on the dresser. No my sweet, it’s not, no never, not ever, your fault. My wedding ring is shut away, with my popped heartstrings, in a tiny white leather box lined in red velvet- crimson on the inside, and when you crack the box, it’s like cracking my heart. “Can I have it mom?” Innocence. You already do, son. The others chime in, nervous the lion’s share is being commandeered by the firstborn yet again- “I want it mom! I want it! Where is it?!” “Mama, can I have your pretty diamond ring, the silver one?” It’s not silver, I hold the words in my mouth, unhatched like a robin’s egg. It’s my remnant, my fossil, child. We shall wait and see. You do not know what you ask…
Something had to give, and it turns out it was “housekeeping”. For a while I thought it was “taking care of me”, because I must like my lessons warmed over for twelve to fifteen years on endless repeat. But I was wrong. And I am finding the path again, mercifully close enough that my feet weren’t far. Just get me through… just get me through… my prayers are like a mantra, giving rhythm and cadence to my day. Get me through, and leave me alone, because I cannot write a paper on the contrast between Aldous Huxley and Camus while singing the song from Backyardigans with you. I cannot do it. I cannot… please child… Two more weeks… Just let me finish.
Guilt. Fear. Frustration. Surrender.
And then ironically, buoyancy. Like a saucer floating over the tides, somehow, what seems impossible comes to pass, and I am left standing on my lawn with my painted red toes wet with dew, watching the sun rise. Somehow, it all works out. What should be terrifying and paralyzing- at least by any logic sensibility- ends up instead being peaceful and, perplexingly if I look at it too long, lovely… I am carried, and peace finds me.
5 thoughts on “Streeeeeetch and Retreat”
I think your summer of fire is more over with than not. And after this, anything will seem easy.
“Just get me through…” – regardless of how often repeated – will be your saving grace. You are emerging through the fire and finding peace. There will always be tough moments, but you are going to make it.
Surrender and buoyancy…so well said. This was a lovely post.
You are a beautiful writer. The ability to share pain with beauty is a rare gift! thank-you for sharing it.
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