Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Day Three of MY school year
First a morning phone call opens my afternoon by hours and hours—a play-date, first for one child then for the other, too. I won’t need to go pick them up at school. Next my heart opens to the clean-up chores of the morning: they packed their own lunches, as is our habit these mornings, so I easily forgive them a few trails of toys and socks and the barely-made beds. I give a few minutes to the nagging chores, sweeping up dust, shaking rugs, giving the stove a once-over. So now the house is opened-up, too, to the sunlight still emerging. Not bad—that’s all I need to be pleased, today.
A meeting gets canceled. The morning is mine.
And the sky is opening, too, with breaks in a sometimes-stubborn Cape Ann fog. Perhaps it will clear in the coming hour—the Boston news claimed the fog cleared hours ago, there. Perhaps here, too. I could wash harder and deeper, but instead I sink into the chair with a stack of books, my glasses, a pen, the journal that is so full I must turn it upside down and search for empty back-sides of paper. A new journal would require a trip. No trips today except inward, at least for the next few hours. In late afternoon I’ll go set up my Sunday school classroom for the coming year, but I’m not thinking about it yet.
Day Three of solitude in a new school year. Day One evaporated in random noodling, walking, untangling of thoughts, stupor. Day Two I revised the drafts of graduate “homework,” book annotations for six titles, crafted a stellar dinner (chicken and vegetables in red curry sauce, over jasmine rice, with Brendan’s surprise side dish of handcut waffle fries). I finished the evening with my magazine work and some Virginia Woolf.
Each hour I shake off more of this stretch of busy-ness, travel, tending people. Each hour of quiet seems miraculous.
I don’t mind fullness—I don’t. Last week was filled with laughter, tourist-behavior, and every afternoon filled with beach time, playground time, “extra” children fitting in the backseat, the farmer’s market, sunlight, pots of popcorn, grown-up “play-dates” with Emily and Anastasia and Suzanne and Jennie. Lack of sleep, giddiness, finding the best chowder, the best coffee, the best escape, the secret stash of spinning fiber in the back of the closet for Anastasia to try. We baked bread. We crafted noodles. We made soup. I love all of it—but I love fullness knowing I’ll get to this set of days when the layers (of responsibility? of noise and distraction? of intuition for others? layers of what?) slowly peel off and the stories I’ve been turning around in my head find their way onto paper.
Even a quick clean of the frig speaks of goodness. (I know I said the place was clean enough. But. Something smelled evil, and now it is gone. And I found a scrumptious leftover for lunch, in exchange for my effort. Just like yesterday.)
The sky opens, blue and full of seagulls. Time to make the second cup of coffee and find a pen, and to sit in the sunny window.