I don’t realize how fast I’ve been twirling until I settle down with Sprout in his blue room for a nap. I don’t realize how far away I’ve been, until I am here, next to him, with his hand on my clavicle, and his damp hair pressed against my cheek.
I’m home so rarely now, it might be the truth to say that I hardly remember how it feels.
Like the sound of his heartbeat and the oscillating fan moving air around his room. Like my body folding into the softness of his small twin bed. Like his hand tracing the lines of my jaw bone, eyebrows, nose.
I watch as the fan stirs the mobile of moon and stars I made when I was expecting him, and feel the way who I am becoming, and who I was then are poles apart. Now, I am made of twirling parts. A dervish, with a prayer of days. A hundred lists, the velocity of now hitting me with full force.
* * *
I keep looking for a blueprint for how to do this well: Being both. Being everything. Mama, writer, artist, strategist, creative, partner, lover.
The moments overlap, unfold, tilt. I write a list of of women I admire on a scrap of paper:
Georgia O’Keefe, Anais Nin, Adrienne Rich, Patti Smith, Isabelle Illende, Elizabeth Gilbert, Annie Dillard, Mary Oliver, Alice Munro, Joan Didion, Barbara Kingsolver, Twyla Tharp, Meryl Streep, Rebecca Makkai, Pam Houston, Anne Lamott, Danielle Laporte, Sabrina Ward Harrison, Brene Brown.
Then I realize less than half have children. The half that do rarely talk of it; of how their lives navigate worlds, and how they must feel a certain push-pull and heartache that comes the tug-of-war between self and children, self and world, self and lover/partner/spouse.
* * *
Is there a blueprint for this life?
Is it possible to be great, to be a Creative in the broadest sense, to live deeply into the world, and still create the measured tempo of home, the rhythm of domesticity, the moments of daily bread and wonder? Some days I think so. Other’s not. I fluctuate, and now is the season when I feel most restless, like the raccoons who wend their way through the summer heat and shoulder-high corn, looking for fat kernels of sweetness.
It’s fluctuation then,that remains my constant.
And this much is all I know: Everything, even this restlessness, and also the quiet stirring air in my son’s blue room, and his childhood too, is temporary.
* * *
Still, I want very much to know: who are women you admire who navigate the tenuous line between motherhood and creativity with grace and verve?