Despite all the claims that I see so much, a lot of days I feel like I miss it. It feels that all I see are color patches and dandelion puzzle pieces scrawled with names. Just essence without any meaning. Fragmented post cards in a jumble.
–a few postcards–
Just only managing to stop a heavy coffee table from falling on top of a two year old.
Or markers. Markers in tiny hands, begging me to color pictures.
The grains in hardwood. Colors and depth and texture polished flat and unreachable.
A quote that made me cry, written in one of Andrew Peterson’s books: “He moved through the days in peace and wonder, for his whole story had been told for the first time, and he found that he was still loved.”
A song written about the above quote that really made me cry.
Bad writing days.
The worst writing days.
Dreams, and what to do with them.
Old books, battered and weatherblown, and piecing some of them back together.
I’m struggling to see the big picture again. School forces me to hone in on the details, and it makes seeing hard because I don’t get to dream. The details are too meticulous, too wearisome some days, and I poke my head back in the dark. I feel like all the trying gets me nowhere, but I don’t have any emotion to make doing it effortless.
We have been scratching at the surface of things
But rivers run underneath, underneath, underneath [Andy Gullahorn, “The Surface of Things,” Beyond the Frame.]
This is the good fight, but some days it feels like losing. Because deadlines come up, emails are accidentally dropped, another friend leaves, the deck of school isn’t stacked in your favor, and the Voices start chattering.
I took a picture of the Grand Canyon
So I could remember that day
Oh, but the beauty of the Grand Canyon
Stretches way beyond the frame [Andy Gullahorn, “Grand Canyon,” Beyond the Frame.]
Children have an easier way of seeing. When you come home from an event with people who for the third year could care less if you exist, they have a way of not noticing that. They see you as you are, and grab your hand and suddenly you’re in an unseen Kensington Gardens and nearly getting kicked in the face by small tickled feet.
When I was the best friend of a two year old and a four year old, there were lots of mental snapshots I took. Now they’re fading, just like the huge jigsaw puzzle we worked, but a few of them remain.
Cold fingers poking my eyelids awake.
How to Train Your Dragon: Dragons of Berk playing, and the four year old insisting that he give up his seat.
Hide and seek, with both continually hiding in the pantry, and me dragging them out and tickling them.
The four year old saying, “Yesterday, I…” to introduce every past event.
The two year old speaking his own dialect, and grinning happily as he dashed about.
Phrase: “You sit dere across from me so I can stare at you during supper.”
Inventing a game with a three year old, that led into every other childhood imaginary game.
Renaming each other Pretzel.
Both of us being incapable of properly flipping imaginary pancakes.
All of the moments were so…real I didn’t have to think about them. And I think that’s why it’s hard to capture them. If you’re fully engaged in the present, in the moment, you don’t have time to do more but live it.
I look at the creek. It is the answer to Merton’s prayer, “Give us time!” It never stops. … You don’t run down the present, pursue it with baited hooks and nets. You wait for it, empty-handed, and you are filled. You’ll have fish left over.
Here is a word from a subatomic physicist: “Everything that has already happened is particles, everything in the future is waves.” Let me twist his meaning. Here it comes. The particles are broken; the waves are translucent, laving, roiling with beauty like sharks. The present is the wave that explodes over my head, flinging the air with particles at the height of its breathless unroll. [Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker’s Creek.]
This is the living. This is the present.
[Photo from Shutterstock.]