Thursday, February 18, 2016

self assurance

There is something about seeing discarded toys laying around that makes me feel sad. It's a lump-in-throat kind of sad, something missing, something gone that once was here. I hear echos. I think of ghosts. I see an empty swing rocking in the wind...

   ...as if
        .... as if
               .... as if

No.

I don't want to write about that.

I don't want to write about empty playgrounds. I don't want to write about the passage of time or kids growing up and needing different things. I don't want to write about my changing role as a parent.

I don't want to write about parenting.

I don't want to write about how no matter how well I take care of myself, my mind regularly feels like a puddle spread out on the floor that everyone splashes through. My head is splayed open and every eddy of the air touches the raw tendrils of my mind.

I don't want to write about this morning. I don't want to write about when my daughter was going on an on about how long it takes her to change out of her gym clothes and how little time she has to get to class, and I had to stop myself from asking her to please be quiet, just for one minute. From saying that I just don't care.

I don't want to write about the ways in which I feel like a shitty parent.

I don't want to write about that.

Because I've been feeling very alive lately. Bright. Bubbling over. Much less of the dull metal, dull gray, shallow feeling that sometimes settles in.

I can hear my own mean voice telling myself I'm doing everything wrong. No, not my mean voice -- my insecure voice. The voice of fear. But I can nod my head and politely say, "Thank you for your opinion. I appreciate your perspective. Now hush."

And then I can explain to that voice that the following truths are real:

I love my kids.

I care very much about what happens to them, what's best for them, their successes, their hurts, their dreams.

I love them. I take good care of them.

But they don't set me on fire.

What sets me on fire has nothing at all to do with them.

What sets me on fire has everything to do with me.

With what I see. With the temperature of the air when it hits my lungs. With the way the earth presses back against my foot when I step. With the strength in my muscles, the sunlight burned into the backs of my eyes, and the words dripping out of my pen.

It is only when I am lit up with this fire that I can see the full picture, the front and the back:

I am whole and fractured. I am solid and liquid. I am here and not here. I care and sometimes I don't care.

I am fine. And I am fine.

This is the delicious truth.