Not even nine months old and tired of posing
Happy Thanksgiving, world.
Iris is asleep upstairs, and Carl went back to his aunt’s house to sneak in a little pie and coffee and grown up conversation. I don’t mind at all. Have put on my pajamas and brewed a cup of tea, and I can feel my shoulders slowly uncrimping from a big day of bustling festive friendliness.
Thankful for families and gatherings. Thankful for quiet evenings at home.
The Christmas lights are twinkling on the tree, and our dining room table is covered in books and papers and a beautifully fresh copy of chapter one. So maybe I’ll write.
Or maybe not.
The quiet is tugging at me. Seems a shame to waste it on work—even work I want to be doing. I’ve never really understood people who come home from trips and immediately fall into a funk of withdrawal. When I was little, I used to say goodbye to places rather than people, and I still give my respectful greetings and farewells whenever I travel. Goodbye, house. I love you. I’ll see you soon.
Going is nice; coming home is better. The way a home’s individual scent has clarified in the stillness, so that after months of being unable to smell it you finally catch it in the air again. The books and pictures and memories right where you left them. A favorite chair. All the usual walking routes and backyard views. The comforts of your own bed and a closet full of everything you own.
Carl was telling me about a meeting in the creative arts department yesterday where they were talking about what one thing each person was most thankful for. He said he couldn’t answer, that everything is connected and no single event or relationship or fact makes sense as the single be-all-end-all. Even God, really… given that we can only experience God through our senses, our minds, our past, our spiritual awareness. Each of which is a blessing of its own.
I’m thankful for a lot of things this year. The obvious, the trite. The personal as well as the relationships I enjoy, old and new. It would be nice to be thankful for everything, but to be honest this year has been one of the more therapy-necessitating of my jaunts around the sun. In the thick of crisis, I’m much stronger than my general grousing would imply, but we all pay for our extravagances of energy and goodwill, sooner or later.
My emotional self started calling in my debts about the time Carl started to walk again. It was a really hard summer, and I still feel at times like I’m the insane version of a person I used to know, but I think we’ve reached the normal insanity of motherhood now. I don’t think I’m diagnosable anymore. I guess we can all be thankful for that.
… I just looked at the clock and realized Carl’s hour is almost up. It’s been a long time since I sat in the quiet and let myself mull life over. Mulling in general is starting to feel like a luxury I can’t afford. And I have a backlog when it comes to quality mulling: what the summer was about, what it meant; matters of personal spirituality and questions of being. It’s hard to remember sometimes that my own actual life is more important than my book or the house or the fun but ultimately optional activities I pour into my days with Iris.
It’s good to remember. Good to be in a quiet house with a quieting mind.
And I am very thankful.