*I apologize in advance for the cobbling together of words below. This post is one I need to write but can’t, so I’m relying on the metaphorically abstract. The result is clumsy and maybe a bit self-indulgent, but for some reason I can’t move forward without it.
The other day Mia came home from a play date carrying a “craft” — a collection of costume gems pressed into lumps of gray clay. She loved them and asked me to display them on the bookshelf in the living room. And so I put them there next to her ceramic turtle that looks more like a fried egg and promptly forgot about them. Our living room faces east and the next morning as the sun came roaring into the room, those lumps of clay came alive, refracting light and throwing a kaleidoscope of colors onto the ceiling.
This summer has been a tough one. A gray clay kind of season where the sun needs to hit just so for the light to dance. A trying, testing season that has led me to the edge of an expansive ravine and there is no way to the other side except to swim and keep my head above water.
I’ve been absent more than present with the kids. I’ve lost my patience. I’ve deflected big questions from Mia because I don’t have the energy to answer them.
“Mommy, what does God look like?”
“It’s late. Can we talk about this tomorrow?” I ask, knowing she will probably forget her question by the next morning.
I hate that I’m doing this, that I’m not taking the bait with these conversations that I’ve always loved to engage in – the big questions, the philosophical ones. The thing is, my life is a composition of fragmented glass at the moment, all the fragile pieces bound by an adhesive whose strength is questionable. But then there are times in the midst of this gray clay kind of summer where the light breaks through and I’m taken aback by the variegated ways in which joy can emerge. And possibilities are making themselves known to me, chiseled from a lump of clay. For this I’m ready. I’m eager and hungry.
I started noticing the somber tone of my writing a few months back and so I decided to pull back. I decided that what precious little solitaire time I was gifted each day was either (a) better spent dealing with these issues head-on, or (b) too intimidating in its vastness to try to put anything into words. And though I’ve done some writing, it’s not writing that can be shared here because parts of my story aren’t mine to tell.
I’m not ready to return to this space on a regular basis — certainly not to post just for the sake of posting — though I’m hoping by fall I’ll be pulled here more. For now, I need more time to focus on “real life” and also to think about what I want from this space, where I want to go with it. When I read about August Break on A Design So Vast I thought it would be a perfect transition. (I realize we’re half-way through August now, but just go with it.) So every day for the rest of this month I’ll be posting a photo. Sometimes I’ll write words, sometimes not. Always, I’ll focus on the positive, the lovely, the spontaneous, the silly, the breathtaking, the joy.
Thank you for reading.
I walked into my parents’ the other day and found this printout sitting on the kitchen counter. I needed to read it. I needed the reminder.