Tuesday, 21 September 2010
On intention and reality
I wake up two minutes before my alarm, my body already (still, always) thinking of them, my babies sleeping next to me. Getting up early to write means so much more than just rolling out of bed and pouring the coffee. For a mother, it’s about mothering, first.
So I carefully slide out of bed, then push the comforter up next to my three-year-old as a substitute for my warm body next to her. But I know she’ll know. In her sleep, she’ll sense it, and I know it’s only a matter of time before she’s up, seeking me out again.
I tiptoe through the hallway and kitchen, careful to avoid the loudest floor creaks, turn on the coffee maker and then sneak downstairs to quietly close the doors of my children sleeping down there.
The coffee made, robe on, lights out again, I sink onto the couch and exhale.
I sit quietly in the darkness for eight minutes, maybe ten, when I hear movement and I know that soon, I’ll have company.
But it’s okay. It’s okay.
I used to be annoyed when this happened, wondering why I woke up early anyway, feeling like it was for nothing. But it’s not. Because I can hold my big boy for a few sweet minutes, I can let him curl up next to me and watch me write, I can take it all together. The intention isn’t wasted just because I saw it differently in my mind. The reality doesn’t need to fight it. If I don’t let them be at odds, they won’t be.
This isn’t my writing time, not solely, not unto itself. I can’t check creativity off my list any more than I can mothering. I used to guard my time, to see divisions, try to keep everything neatly in its own space, its own box, its own time. But that’s an illusion. It was a frantic rearranging of a dream, nothing more.
Mothering is creativity is writing is nurturing is thinking is planning. It’s all me, and I have everything I need right here. I carry all of it with me. And it’s when I can see it all together, when I let the lines blur and give myself over to the beautiful mess, whole, that I’m free.