Friday, December 3, 2010


Ya know, one of the hard things about the 365 blog challenge is that some days are just kind of rough, and when you go to sit down and write--oh, who am I fooling here using the second person--when I go to sit down, I feel that writing about this roughness is somehow bad.  But, because I have to believe that whatever brings me to this point must be a way for me to come around to another point, a better point, then I'll go through it, if that's what He asks of me.  So, I debate about how to write about a day like today, and I think the best way to balance it out here is to include as much of the good with the bad as I can because as James Baldwin writes, "the tale of how we suffer and how we triumph must be told."

1.  Wanting to warm the car up this morning before an impromptu trip to the doctor (Nora is sick again and I am a worried mother), I throw some boots on, a sweater, run out and Lynn is out back working and I hold my hand up high toward the sky, and he holds his up in the sky and we keep them there for a good long time.  It wasn't like one of those flap your hand around kind of waves.  It was a kind of salute, I suppose, one that said, I see you there working and I see you there with your daughter, and we thank you for the fruitcake and I thank you for taking care of the house and here we are and, yeah, it's cold, but here we are.

2.  Words from friends and family saying I am doing okay, making good choices, being a good mother, and I am saved by their encouragement, how they sustain me.  I want to tell them as I told Nora last night, "Did you know, Nora, I am almost always talking to God, even while I'm putting these socks here into the laundry hamper?"

3.  Running around Walmart for medicine, there's a single long, black cardigan hanging on the rack for 15 bucks, the sweater I've been needing for awhile now in order to hide my...uh, I grab it and continue walking around looking for the Christmas light section and when I finally make it there, I look down and realize I'm just carrying around an empty hanger.  Feeling like someone who forgot to attach the dog to the leash, I have to figure that wasn't the sweater I was looking for after all.

4.  My mom's Christmas open house at her pottery studio in York was a big success.  And I'm proud of her.  If I weren't already sitting so close to her, I would lift my hand up into the sky and hold it there for a long time in her direction and it would say, "I see you there, Mom, working and making things with your hands, and they are beautiful, the same hands that shaped me and this wood burning stove is really hot, don't you think?  Should we open the door?  Man, I love peanut butter cookies with a hershey's kiss on top."

So there, suffering.  Take that.

1 comment:

  1. I think sometimes we need that challenge to write even about the rough stuff. It's in taking on that process that we are forced to examine it more thoroughly, and in different was. As writers, we are naturally attune to that anyways, but not always on such a personal level. As a wise English professor told me once, though, "Just start writing, even when you think you can't."

    And it can be scary. And it can be hard. And it can be wonderful. Soon all sorts of realizations spill out onto the page that we never knew we were holding in, like realizing it's a way to "come to another point, a better point," as you put it so well. Like realizing how strong of a woman and an incredible mother you are, how inspiring you are to those around you.

    Way to show suffering your strength and inspiring ways, too. That might not scare it away completely since it's a side effect of living, but I think you certainly showed it who's boss.

    Just keep on keepin' on.