While I Was Gone

Right now I am rusty like a lawn mower left outside, upside down in a monsoon.  Right now I am wrapped in foil and saran-- so many layers removed from the part of me beneath the skin next to the bone that allows me to be scrubbed clean by writing. Right now I'm on other planets, other galaxies, inside of other caves. I have taken a 6 week hiatus from regular writing and it feels like 6 years, 6 lifetimes. I have written, yes. But not in the pressure cooker of a class where my hand can't stop, where I can't get up to see if anything new has magically appeared in the fridge, take a little dive into the ocean, run around the block just to distract myself from me. But, okay. Like a bear I need to hibernate every once in a while though what I just imagined was a bear trying on tutus in a dressing room.  

What I really want to say is I've been packing in the living. Teaching kids, turning 40, hitting the road with my family who feel like a real family now, not people I accidentally ended up living with, marrying and pushing out of my body. This motherhood gig is so wild. At first my contract seemed interminable and now I'm begging to extend the contract. 

On the day before my husband's birthday, from the balcony of the beach house we got with friends, I watched a deer lope across the beach access road. I walked down to the beach as the sun rose, a fluorescent fiery ball of melon in a hurry to ascend the sky. Dolphins dove and jumped in tandem, their black fins synchronized like Olympic swimmers. Crabs formed a circle around me in the sand to spy on me with their enormous eyes googling around on the tops of their heads. On my way back to the house, a bunny big and fat and brown leapt across my path and I gasped at the ridiculousness of so many generous, unexpected gifts. That night we watched the sun plunk down through the clouds and into the sound. Everything was so much better than the summer, the trip, the life, I would have chosen. 

Right now I'm ready to see what waits at the end of this pen even when I refuse for so long to uncap it. 


Valley HaggardComment