Archive for the ‘working it’ Category

September is more than half gone, and yet it is still the first Monday all three of the children are off at school. It’s like that, Kindergarten. Your five your old goes off on the bus,  catches all the germs by licking the Legos, and then comes up and collapses in your arms on Friday afternoon.

He’s recovered now. So it is my first Monday of shipping them off. Were it not for my sister, I might have spent the day in my pajamas watching Mad Men on Netflix. Instead I am writing in a coffee shop with her. I have a coffee cup, a cell phone and a red netbook.  It turns out I look exactly like people who do this all the time.


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I soak in the happy news of the day, both big and small, joys mine & just nearby to me. The boys can take the bus home from school this winter. Theo and I do not have to brave the cold, the busy parking lot, the ice, the tears. We stay home and bake things, waiting for the older two to tumble off the bus. This is very cheering. I relish happy news from friends and family, hope on the horizon. I fix my mind on them, these things for which I am grateful to God.

I practice looking at life’s every day concerns with just a little distance: bills to pay, appointments to make, my father growing older, starting up a business here in a new place, Matt’s long commute. I make no move with them. I just look at them and practice not unraveling. It feels like enough of an accomplishment for today.

I do they every day stuff. I cook, I read to the kids. I stay up with the news, I wrestle the laundry into submission. I recycle and compost things. It feels good. I knit, un-knit and re-knit.

I stick in a box the expensive and unfortunate car drama of the week. The mess is mostly tidied up now. It stings though. I laugh with girlfriends about it. I laugh with Matt about it. We shake our heads and sigh. I take a breath. I laugh. I do not talking about cutting. I do not talk about it with Matt, with the girlfriends, with anyone. I think about talking about it here. I write a post. I save it to drafts. I re-write it, delete it, start again.

I work the self-control to the limit, but like a too stretched rubber band. If I can talk about it, then it will be outside my body. It works for me, but not for anyone else. It works because I have let something out & it is hard for anyone to just be with that, without feeling that they are being asked to do something, to fix something. It angers them. It sounds like a threat and I am helpless as I explain that I just want it out of my body – to let it go up like smoke into the atmosphere. I can do it alone. I do. It feels less safe, but there is God, who, in a moment such as this, feels like a dream, a whisper of someone who may walk into the room or out of it, but doesn’t. Yes, there is God who will let it burn up and rise like smoke into the atmosphere, who can accept as worship this discipline not to harm myself.

I sigh. It stings. I laugh with the kids and bake something. I write this post and publish it this time. It may have to come down, but in the mean time I am sending it up like smoke.

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