As the house quieted and giggling children slowly settled into gently snoring children, Jon asked me why I wasn’t writing anymore. Curled in my vintage thrift store chair nestled in the corner, book folded in my lap, I idly fiddled with the velvety fraying threads on the edge of the arm. Sea-blue and leaf-green brocade, perfect in a 1940’s home, now raveling so many years later in my bedroom. But it’s the perfect reading chair, inviting with it’s sturdy frame and soft, worn cushions, bathed in a circle of golden light from an ivory silk-shaded reading lamp. The kids fight over it— all of them— at story time. It’s one of my favorite places. I looked out the open window into the velvety blackness. “I don’t know.”
I thought I had writer’s block. But I’m not sure that’s true. I think I may have Happy Block.
Writing about hard things is simple— I tap a vein and let it flow. But writing about happy? I withdraw, tighten inside, unconsciously hold my breath. Happy is… baffling, right? I don’t know. It’s not even so much that I don’t know how to write about it- I’m still working on processing the “life” part of it, and all the changes for me and my kids this year.
I’m still working on unpacking my faith in this weird happiness. Turns out it’s not as simple as unpacking my grandma’s china, though that was admittedly an important step. The patterns and rhythms of life are startling to unfold, unfurling into something, while continually changing, is consistently tinged with beauty, if I only pause long enough and peek through my fingers to see.
Jon says, “I think you have your challenge. You’re up to it. Just write.”
I grab my computer and head downstairs. There is a flickering candle on the entry table, casting dancing elfin shadows with the welcoming scent of apple cider, and I flop on the couch. We picked this camelback sofa up from a couple on Craigslist, and ended up making friends with them. They insisted on giving us an enormous gilt-edged antique mirror that now hangs over the fireplace, which one of men declared, with an eye roll towards his partner, “It’s too gay!” We both love it— it’s perfect in the family room, where apparently Too Gay Mirrors are a fine fit. It’s been part of the transition from this being Jon’s house to it becoming Our Home. It makes me happy.
There it is again. Happy.
Remind me to breathe. Remind me that happy is okay. Kind of like a few of you have reminded me already not to dye my hair red this fall. Thanks for that, by the way. You all make me happy. And not making a horrible hair color mistake makes the world happy.