learning things / by Christina Rosalie

I want to feel like I am living down into my feet, but today I make it only as far as my spine: curved, contoured to chair after chair, listening, scribbling notes, my mind compressing and applying information as flexibly as I know how. It’s an all out pummeling to be submerged like this on Wednesdays: 6 hours of class, everything entirely new. Like learning to moon walk, or speak Japanese, that is what it feels like to dive into RAW and HTML and CSS; acronyms becoming little dog-eared tabs of meaning in my mind.

And then to switch gears from web design and theory, to making pizza and nuzzeling sweet little boy heads.

Over warm apple crumble I’d pulled together out of sheer will power Bean said, “I love Nonna more than I love you, Mommy. Just a minute more, but I do.”

Oh, to find the quite open space to be there with him then. To hold that moment open without filling it up with my own small hurts. I couldn’t help but turn away, picking at a fingernail, eyes smarting.

So this is showing up, this is what it’s like to throw yourself towards the day with the urgency and grace and inexperience of a dancer learning new material. Some moments I feel like I am defying gravity: I hit all the deadlines, I take copious notes, my mind is a perpetual shower of sparks while I am vacuuming the kitchen floors. Other times it’s about falling hard: the way my eyes feel blurring from so many consecutive hours of screen and classroom time; the way my boys see me for less time some days than they do their grandparents.

Tonight the house smells like baking apples, and I read the boys stories in the semi-dark of their bedroom. Then I come downstairs to where the house is humming with stillness. I want to fold like an origami bird, wings to body, head tucked inside a fragile crease of paper and sleep, but this isn’t about folding. No, this time, this year, these moments, are all about learning to fly.