Wednesday, January 20, 2010

ice day

Working from home today. The last few days I have been driving to Iowa in dense fog - the entire earth seems shrouded in white. Desolation seems the theme, and then, rising gracefully out of the haze there's this tree. It is stately, tall, and crystallized, and I am amazed at its beauty. I think to myself, this is something I should appreciate. This is something that I should notice. Afraid to stop, I keep driving and wish I had a camera. This will not last, and I will forget when the fog lifts and the sun shines. I will never remember the quiet of this morning. Not sure how to feel about this.

So many of life's special moments are this way. When Scout takes my face in his hands and gently rubs my cheeks, or the way he "reads" his favorite books to me, getting some of the words mixed up, and looking to me for guidance. Will I forget the serious look he gets on his face when he's puzzled, or the joy I see when I surprise him at daycare and he rushes into my arms and says, "Mommy."

While the human brain is amazing, in its imperfection it omits the memories of these little details of life in favor of important dates or deadlines. And I wish the opposite were true. I wish I had a camera in my pocket every day so that I could take the picture that would record these moments. And then I remember that the camera can't record the feelings, the joy, the awe, the silence. Just pictures. Words are in the same way never good enough to help us relive those moments.

And so for me the takeaway is this: Stop, close your eyes, and be - in that moment, in that place, with that feeling. See what there is to see, not just on the surface, but the essence. Hear the silence, feel the joy, touch the magic places and know that they are fleeting. It is in those moments, we are one with what is divine and awesome and perfect. It is in those moments that we are truly alive.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

So it's Saturday, and I realize just how long it's been since I sat in front of this screen and tried to write something that's not about education or technology. But that's really okay. As for jobs, I have one of the good ones.

But Steve is working and Scout is sleeping and my Christmas tree is still up - though a bit droopy - and I'm trying to make myself be motivated to take it down. Probably not going to happen.

The sun is shining here in South Dakota, but the snow still reaches the for the top of the windows and cold is the word of the day, and the day before, and the day before that. It reaffirms the extent to which one will go for love. Before meeting Steve, I would never have considered hanging my hat in this state of extremes. But perhaps it is a reflection of me in some ways. I've never been one to take the middle ground, but have always set up shop on one end of an issue or the other, so it is somehow fitting that I now live in a place where temperatures, landscapes, even cornfields are extreme - stretching for miles under the summer sun, or looking like tundra when the snow blankets them.

My mind longs to find time to work on "my stuff" - an unfinished book, a poem or two, and this space where I can write just about anything I want. Now that I've found a few moments, I feel as if there is nothing in me to write.

I could write about the way the snow sparkles in the sun, or the way the drifts rise and fall. I could write about temperatures that are below zero, that make it virtually unihabitable in this place. I could write about missing my people in Ohio and in Texas. Maybe when it's been so long there are too many topics.

Right now the keyboard feels good under my fingertips, but I am being poked to action by unfinished laundry and cats to feed. There is no peace - and that's where the not-writing begins.

Maybe next week, when Steve is fishing on the ice in Minnesota, I will find the peace to write.