Some days, you remind yourself it’s all small stuff. Even some of the big stuff. Or at least the stuff that’s actually immediate, in front of you, touchable and do-able. The rest is someplace else and will wait its turn, and it will go from big to small, too.
Some days, you remind yourself of the Greater Good, capitalized like that, a slap across the top of your back to jar you out of selfish reverie.
Some days, the grey is so three-dimensional you swear you could move around inside of it, like a new house.
Some days, especially after spending time away from work with friends, three hours feels like three years.
Some days, you miss your kids so viscerally, and look at the clock to see how much longer till the school day ends, even though you won’t pick them up for two more days.
Some days, it’s hard to dream, so you don’t, and know that that’s really ok. Dreams can stay alive even if you’re not busy attracting the right energy. It’s hard to fuck things up–much, much harder than we lead ourselves to believe. So don’t worry, the dreams will be fine. So will the kids.
Some days, you get a giant Cowboy Cookie at the campus store, by all rights enough for three people to share, and eat the whole thing at your desk like a bear.
Some days, bed is the cave and you really, really wish you were a bear.
These are those days, or at least this was that day. The darkest, narrowing time, minutes on either side of dawn and dusk vice-squeezed by the position of the itty-bitty planet.
It helps to know we’re in motion, perpetually. It helps that there’s gravity. And coffee. That a warm face will greet you when you return home, and that your kids are loved, and not just by you.
It helps not to fight it–the inexplicable tears that don’t fall, and the wall of grey resistance.
This winter ache doesn’t ask anything of you but to leave it be, good enough really, instead of all that effort of focusing on what doesn’t exist, waxing poetic about how spring will come. If I were winter, would I care that so many people just tolerated me, if that? But we all know winter is not a mind, a body, a being. And maybe that’s just it. To be more like winter, and not less. It always seems to come back to this, freeing yourself up from the confines of being, in order to be.
And this, my friends, may be why I just switched to the first person, and also why I haven’t written much lately. Early yesterday morning, I wrote an entire post, read and re-read it, cut some things and then some more things until all that remained were a few bald sentences that weren’t important, and then finally just clicked on the little trash icon, said “Yes, I’m sure,” and then shut down my computer to spend the whole day with Mani, Asia, and Isabel. What I had written did not matter.
Then there I was today, all day, looking out at the grey sky, and even the air seemed grey, like an old person’s teeth maybe, not a hint of color out there, with my giant cookie and perpetual cup of tea, that burst-into-tears-feeling clinging to the insides of my eyes, and a line came to me so I wrote it down, and it turned into this whole thing about winter and acceptance, and again, I thought:
But I’m posting it anyway, because in some way I think it’s good practice for me to share something that doesn’t matter just as it is good practice for me to not share some things at all.
It’s all practice. It’s winter. Still, early yet. At 3:30pm, the grey was already deepening in heft. I am not a bear, but I sure do like the image of the woman and the bear embracing.
And I that is exactly what I intend to do tonight. And to sleep. In my cave-bed.
Image by Shaun Tan