- Books, Literature, and Writing
Our Own Stuff
My mind goes to a place of beauty, to songs and fabrics and curtains lilting on the breeze at a bedroom window partially open. The breeze is cool and dry, which exists in my region on one or maybe two days of the year. But what is important is the image, because it speaks to me of deeper things: namely, what I want for my offspring, and, as I extrapolate it, what I want for my own life. It is likely that, for some folks, the only way to know what they want from life is to see it veiled in this manner.
We grow up damaged. We recover. Through the jagged pathways of staying alive physically, getting sustenance and shelter and personal care, we survive. We put aside for the moment desires that are very important to us as people, as individuals, as the basic stuff of who we are, in order to make it to the next paycheck and the next round of the fight. When the moment comes to usher in offspring, the items carefully stowed away in our desire warehouses speak. Sometimes they shout out of the darkness; sometimes, they hover nearby and whisper.
The human mind is a powerful and mysterious thing. When we are at rest, or involved with a random mundane activity, it brings in a slideshow. It sings us a song.
At times we act on the impulse, instinctively perceiving its value. But in unfortunate instances we question it, applying our academic skills to the image. In my case, What am I thinking? For me to have a window open, and enjoy it, would mean not living here. Should I relocate? I would miss the connections of family of friends.....and so on.
We might also apply the chiding voice of correction we remember from some well-meaning soul, such as Don't be silly. You're daydreaming and being sentimental and babies are hard work. You need to buckle down and think in very practical terms of what this new child is going to do to your everyday life and prepare for it, like a sensible adult.
And we might tell our spouse about our slideshow or song, only to receive....that look.
All three of these responses contain their own kinds of truth but are sadly beside the point. With each one, we may miss what is hidden in the impulse.
Back to the curtain lilting on the breeze in the bedroom. What is it telling me? Here's my best gander. It is imperfect, a list of impressions fresh from my emotional center.
hearing the wind
seeing the shadows
an understanding of immensity
by the light, it is probably early afternoon, could be morning, but is not nighttime
solitude, but not loneliness
a motion, that is billowing and beautiful, far from threat or violence
Because I recognize this list, I look through the selection of clues, picking up each one. I take my time, arranging them carefully and contemplating them, as I would so many little dolls. Each one has meaning to me personally. They are safe to handle and don't mind examination and I can sense that. I don't hesitate to take them out frequently and ponder.
And it's a good thing I don't. Only one way, in all the world, exists by which I can give these things to my child.
They must first belong to me.