Words really do get stuck. There is something in the act of opening the computer and sitting down to write that makes them absolutely congeal in my brain. What was a coherent string of thoughts becomes a gelatinous mass of random one-line thoughts. What’s for dinner? We should take the library books back. My back hurts. What’s that noise? What will the weather be like tomorrow? I should message so-and-so back. Where’s Anselm? What was I wanting to write about again? What time is it?
It was raining outside that day, but it was warm. I was determined that we should take a walk that day, even in the rain. Rather, I thought we should take a walk because it was raining. Because we never take walks in the rain. Is it different in the rain? How different? What shall we see that we don’t see when it’s dry outdoors? You don’t know unless you begin, do you?
We took a walk in the rain precisely because we don’t usually. I am ever looking out for those things we don’t do that we perhaps should. It’s something of a hobby–perhaps more like an obsession. My avoidance of uncomfortable things is a never-ending mystery and I investigate it with the tenacity of any detective: Why am I avoiding this? What would happen if I didn’t? I wanted to walk outside in the rain because I never do it. I never do it because it’s uncomfortable. I know that those uncomfortable things usually yield the most surprising and satisfying results.
I think that’s also why I push through these stiffening, uncooperative thoughts, and try to put down here what words I can. There is something in the exercise alone that’s worth it. I always feel better for it.
A while back I began telling the story of my long wrestle with the word rest. And it is a long one, with many steps and milestones, I think, so that I stopped with the promise that I would continue in another post. It only took a few months, but here is that post, at last.
In the last installment of thoughts on rest, I–mother of two-under-two, with copious amount of Me Time but a heavy case of Burnout–was beginning to get the inkling that everything I thought I knew about rest may be wrong. According to the Internet and other mothers I asked, the solution to my exhaustion was to carve out more time to myself, but I already had carved out several hours for myself and was more exhausted than ever.
There had to be another solution.
Just as the weather began to turn warm, as the grass grew deep green in patches and flocks of robins began to visit the farm, we ventured out of the house for a good Explore.
It was Mama that needed it most. We moved last Spring, and the Summer and Autumn were lovely and full of the outdoors and the fresh air. And then Winter came, and it was too cold, and too wet, and then too cold and wet to go outside.
My life in Georgia was almost totally indoors. It’s just how things worked out. We wanted up here to be outside; this winter was frustrating. I don’t like cold. I should get over it.
But outside we went, today, for fresh air both literally and figuratively. We put on our boots and jackets and headed East.
Elvie Kathryn turned eleven months old on the 3rd.
She is busy, busy, busy, ever so busy, only stopping to sleep, really. If she’s up she’s moving, whether it’s standing up and rocking or dragging herself along in her galumphing sort of way, or pausing to turn a toy over and over in her hands while she sings to it, da-da-da-da-da-DA! Even while sitting in her high chair to eat, her feet kick and her little right hand rolls around and around.
Pictures are difficult with a such a busy little bee. Combine that with the fact that she doesn’t care for any of the toys that I choose for her to look at…well, that’s why she doesn’t get many pictures taken these days. [Read more…]