What if people in train stations broke into song and dance more often? I love the incredulous expressions on people’s faces as they try to make sense of what is happening.
Is that really what it’s come to? Posting other people’s youtube videos? It’s as if the shifts happening in my life and work these days are beyond the blog; I haven’t yet decided what to write about, what to share, what I want to find my way into. It is in the very nature of blogging, I suppose, this changing relationship over time, with it, with myself in its context, with readers and a sense of audience as opposed to writing purely for myself.
I want to write about how Pearl, whose third birthday is one week from today, is a “big boy.” How she calls herself Eric. How she loves cars and trucks. How she is so easily set off, and just as easily consoled when she’s ready. How this morning, after she spilled something and I cleaned up, she kept saying, “Sorry, Mama. Sorry.” I want to write about all the things that have been going through my mind for months now about not projecting, just loving her and letting her become who she is, as fully and happily and unconditionally as possible.
I want to write about my fears, fears that I am relating to Aviva from a point of opposition so much of the time. How I don’t want that to become the default for us, not now, not ever. Who knows about ever. At least not now. I want to do everything right and yet I know better, so much better, than to fall into that rabbit-hole that there is a “right” way to be her mama. I want to love her enough and empower and support`her without being afraid to create boundaries and structure, without being afraid of my own authority. And then there’s fear there too, of not giving her enough opportunity to be independent. Oy. You can see that this is something that takes up probably way more headspace that it should, to worry so much about this, about anything actually. Worry begets worry. Fear is a closed loop. And what does Aviva want? My attention. My love. My time. To roll her eyes at me and know I’ll still love her. To play for hours and hours on end her “secret games” with her best girlfriend up the street. To throw herself over me at night, the ultimate comfort, knowing my body is still hers some of the time, no matter how much she might reject me by day.
I want to write about the budget. The spreadsheets. The numbers I have become so intimately familiar with over the past six months, you could blindfold me and spin me in a circle until I didn’t know what direction I was facing and ask me any line, any category, and I could spout out the average monthly expense, whether it’s discretionary or not, and whether it’s something we’ve adjusted or axed. Netflix? Downgraded to two a month, and even that may be on the chopping block in May. Groceries? Average is $700 a month, but I’m trying to get it down to $600. Gas, trash, DSL, violin, preschool… The reason I am sharing this at all is that I get the feeling you, like me, might be hungry for the numbers. How the hell is everyone else doing and how are they doing it? For once, I want to know not from the perspective of comparing how we are richer or poorer than the neighbors on the left and the neighbors on the right, but from the vantage point of sharing resources, strategies, decision-making processes. Money management. It is, I am learning, an essential part of the way I am wired to think about this stuff. And every now and then – not often, and usually when I’m feeling extra brave – I ask a friend, how much is YOUR grocery bill? And usually a torrent comes pouring out of her mouth, and then mine, until we are both feeling more supported in our respective efforts and intentions.
I have also been wanting to write about marriage. And how it is so. much. work. And how communicating is the absolute, number one thing (ok, and sex, but please – do you really feel like having sex when you haven’t exchanged more than six non-kid-related words all week?) that greases the skids and makes things go, and just how do YOU communicate when you both have 156 emails in your inbox and lunches to make and presentations to prepare and runs to trade off? We go to Ken’s Pub on Church Street; it has been our date night place for nine years now, and there is no comfort like slouching in a booth there and finding our way into a conversation that lifts up above the fray where our eyes meet over Switchbacks with lemon…
And I want to write about how I printed 92 pages of poems this week when a client didn’t show and I had an unexpected hour. How there is now officially a year’s worth of yoga poems from my gig with Evolution, and I don’t quite know what to do next. Send a query letter to Shambhala Press? Submit them to The Sun or Yoga Journal? OK, friends and angels: Help! Send information, advice, and instructions. I am ready.
I want to write, but not really, about the vicious cycle with food and overeating at night that I have been looped up in for so many years, on and off, with long stretches of each. How sometimes I can’t believe it, that I am still struggling with such old residual habits. How is it possible to understand something, identify and articulate it with the intellect and reason, then repeat it over and over like a madwoman? And how this is a source of shame, which is exactly why I am bringing it up. Oh, the things we don’t share. The things we don’t talk about. We hide them, fear them, and objectify each other. And so much is lost that would be helpful, comforting, useful, even inspiring, to each other. Tell me your stories, your struggles, your shame, and I will tell you mine.
And I want to write about the pressures I feel as any major Jewish holiday approaches. How Passover begins in less than a week, and so much is triggered for me. Do I clean all the chametz out of the house? What about Pearl’s birthday cake? How do I reconnect with the meaning of the holiday, and disconnect from the sense of obligation or pressure that surrounds it (which, ironically, is at least in some way related to why my grandmother left Judaism for Christian Science)? How Aviva recently said, “But we’re not really, really, really, really Jewish.” That girl sure knows which buttons to push. How sometimes I think Judaism is not an easy tradition to find one’s way into, and I get why so many American Jews become Buddhists and Unitarians. And like so many things, this topic could be a source of shame, stress, and fear, when why should it be? What I crave is more self-acceptance, I think, about the choices we are making and why they are okay, they are enough.
And so it all began with The Sound of Music in a Belgian train station, taking passersby by surprise, stopping them in their tracks, in their trajectories from A to B, their reverie or stress, wherever they might have been it was impossible not to stop, to look in wonder, maybe to tap a foot or smile a little or take a picture with a camera phone so as to tell their kids later, Guess what happened in the train station today? An impromptu show, a song and dance I didn’t even need tickets to, you would’ve loved it.
Share something, share it here, share it in public or share it in private, share it with your best girlfriend up the street or your husband on the date night you so, so need, or share it with me in an email or share it with yourself in the notebook you bought for yourself but haven’t written in for months.