I’ve been nursing a sore back, so I’ve had a bit of down time to read. As I work to spend thoughtful, focused time writing this month, it helps to read the words of others. It is fascinating to me to see the way others writers tie their words together. We each have a rhythm, favorite phrases, tendencies toward longer sentences, dropped punctuation, and everything in between. I want to share a few of the posts that took me by surprise.
This first, by Maggie, was like seeing a ghost. There was an intimacy in the revelation, something Maggie is always so good at—stripping bare a moment and yet keeping something for herself. From frayed fabric to scant reserves, she paints a picture of life so gritty and raw, yet golden in abundant love, I just sat open-mouthed, grateful to have found those words. Here it is, 1000 Words.
This second post came to me via Twitter. I was scrolling through post-election rants and laments. Personally I wanted to take a day to just let the issues and politics rest. I was looking for things to gently turn my focus to something more personal. I’ve been thinking a lot about where we are with the girls right now—homework, chores, cuddles, play. We are transitioning and the pull to linger or to bolt can make me dizzy. This post in the New York Times Motherlode section was such a light, ‘what if we dial it down a notch and look at it this way’ kind of thing. I can cop to needing reassurance that my make-it-up-as-I-go parenting is ok. I don’t have to be a helicopter or hands-free mom, don’t have to be a tiger mom or a whatever the mom-type du jour is. A breath of fresh air.
Sean has been supporting me, carving out time each night to make sure that I can spend time writing, without feeling as if I am checked out of the family. I hear him singing with the girls, running story time, calling out lines that crack me up like, “Go on, pick any book you want that isn’t Fancy Nancy and I’ll read to you.” When I found this post from a woman I am growing so very fond of, I felt a flash of guilt. She poses penetrating questions of the expense of her choices, wonders about her legacy. I don’t think I’ve ever had a time in my life that I haven’t looked back on and either thought, “Man, I was too hard on myself,” or “What was I thinking?” As I read Dina doing this, it was intense. I hope she works through it, because as you’ll find when you click-through, she’s got a gift.
This last one is not light, but since I read it maybe a week ago, it has stayed with me. We all carry ghosts that haunt us, whether they are in the form of poor decisions, could-have-beens, or actual people. My instinct is to try to fix things, but this post didn’t let me fix or sugarcoat. It is heartbreaking.
I’ll close with this little wisp of amazingness that I found on Twitter through Dan Parks. I saved it to show the girls as we do homework, but the more I look at it, the more I realize it applies to life for all of us. Simple and makes sense, sometimes you just need to see it or hear it in someone else’s words to truly get it.