Sunday, January 30, 2011
A life well decorated
I could regale you with the minutia of my everyday here with my children. Not a day goes by when they don’t amaze me with something they say, or do, or how they blink their eyes, or shrug their shoulders, or dance to music that is inside their heads.
They are life personified. They are hope in a jar. They are love without complication, without borders. They are joy unbound. They are sorrow seared into my heart. They are not mine to keep.
And then there is me.
I move through my days trying not to question what we are doing here in France. Of course I know what we are doing here. But if you think about it too much, you can question why you are anywhere.
Motherhood guides me in that regard. Tells me when to leave the house, when to come back. Tells me why to get up. Tells me to go to bed. Tells me to be kind, to be patient, compassionate.
Motherhood asks me to forget myself again and again. Motherhood asks me to forgive myself for not being able to forget myself.
The gray winter sky soothes me. It cushions my anxiety, mutes it just enough to allow my thoughts to run clear, the silt falls away, floats to the bottom where it rests and waits to get stirred up spun in circles.
I am distracted. My distraction clouds my thinking, tears my experiences into small pieces, confetti. I try to hang on. My fingers get tired. The pull is strong.
I have to remind myself to stay here, now, focused. What are you doing right now? Do it then.
The table in front of me is strewn with things: A notebook, a checkbook, a cookbook, an address book, a French encyclopedia, a box of watercolors, a box of pastel crayons, a box of granola, a tangled pile of Scooby Doos, toy Corvette with three wheels. It had four wheels for just two hours. A pair of sunglasses, a can of pens and pencils. A coffee cup. A pair of scissors, a laundry peg, a paper towel roll which Esther has decorated so I cannot throw it out. Not right now, anyway.
I can choose to see my surroundings as a life a life unmanaged, out of control, or as a life well-decorated, full.
Today, at least, I choose fullness.