Once upon a time there was a very young Mommy who had one sweet, beautiful, well-behaved child. (Oh, stop. This is all true.) This happy child loved her Mommy and followed her around, sat still for hair-doing, and went to bed without any fussing.
Month: September 2009 (page 1 of 3)
So yesterday afternoon while I was mowing the lawn sans iPod, I had brilliant blog-post ideas. They were flowing. Funny ideas, insightful ones, serious and ridiculous ones.
You know me, I’m always full of it – I think somehow that my opinion is relevant. Hm.
Hey there – I’m doing a book signing on Saturday morning (um, did I neglect to mention that earlier? My bad.) I’ll be at the Orem Seagull (Center street and State) from 10:00 till noon. I’d love to see any of y’all who are in the neighborhood. We can talk books and … well, there must be something else we can do.
I’m feeling all inspired by my bloggy-friend Kim. She is struggling (I was going to say battling, but that sort of implies more physical work than being on bedrest – you know) with troubles in a difficult pregnancy. She’s winning. Baby C is growing. But it’s not easy for Kim, of course. And she’s doing an amazing job of continuing her job as blog-inspiration-mama.
I staggered into the pantry to grab an orange. That would do it. A glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice would wake me up. After that, everything would feel right.
Right hand reached up for the juicer as left hand went for an orange. But instead of lifting out a firm, heavy, juicy orange, my fingers went right through a piece of rotten fruit. As the adult around here, I should have tossed the orange into the garbage can and moved on. But I couldn’t move on. Not only couldn’t I move on, I couldn’t even move out of the pantry. I dropped to the floor and buried my head in my knees. I sat there, gunky orange rot on my fingers, hunched and sobbing, for far too long.
Oranges gone bad, this is cause for tears? Okay, well, I had just spent far too much money on a case of fruit from the roving produce man who visits my house a few times a year. Somehow I always manage to buy what he’s selling, even though his samples are always tastier than what I end up with. And now I was the owner of thirty pounds of rotten oranges. And I wanted a drink. I craved that juice, and now I couldn’t have it.
I know I am capable of near-hysterical acts of drama, but even to me this seemed a little over the top. I wiped the slimy orange parts off on my sock and took a breath. Not a deep breath, because I was still folded in half over my knees, but a breath. In. Out. In again.
What was really wrong?
Isn’t that the question?
What was really twisting my heart to the breaking point so that an overripe piece of fruit could bring me down?
And do you know what? It was nothing. Nothing and everything. There was no major trauma. Everyone was well. Most everyone was happy. Small inconveniences like gnats in front of my eyes were suddenly wood slivers under my nails. The weight of all that needed doing pressed heavy on my back and shoulders, and I knew I simply could not handle it.
I could not be the person I wanted to be. I could never measure up to what I expected of me. I couldn’t be a perfect wife. I couldn’t even be a decent mother. I was a lame friend, a bad sister, a horrible neighbor, a hack writer, and I couldn’t even make a glass of orange juice without breaking down.
I needed a vacation. A maid. A nanny. A pedicure.
Or maybe just a hug.
(This is fiction. I’m fine. None of this even happened, except me needing a maid, and maybe a pedicure. It’s just an exercise in writing – the prompt was “good things gone bad”.)
So this “writing prompts” thing is cool – even if I never see any of it again, it’s helpful. This morning, I used the word wrapped and wrote a couple of things from it. I could do more. Weird, how finding a word that seems so obvious, so specific, can open my eyes to feelings and emotions I’d not really considered. I keep these in a computer folder called “emotional outbursts” and that is where some of my book starts come from. I’ve written a scene that became a piece of a novel (twice). The novel didn’t necessarily hinge on that scene, and neither time was that scene the beginning, but both times I was able to so clearly see the characters, their motivations, their fears and their anxieties that those characters came alive to me right then. I just had to do that little job of writing a novel around that scene.
After shuttling all those cute Kids out the door this morning, I grabbed the pruning shears and went to work on my overgrown shrubs. Sometimes I find myself picking up one branch and carefully, gently, snipping it so the new leaves will grow just so. Other times (most of the time) I hack.