what it's like :: midweek / by Christina Rosalie

The day slips by outside.

Dark to light, then light to dark: a filigree of shadows on the windowsill, a spattering of rain on the outside of the glass.

I spend the day mostly in doors, watching the world from windows, focused, determined, tired, anxious, triumphant, moody, and delighted at once. I look toward the near future of concurrent deadlines and feel the way my heart pummels my ribcage for more breathing room, more time spent doing little, but that’s not what this time is about. This time is about passion and pushing through: when the hours are fractions, the minutes precious, and the outcomes hopeful.

I leave in the morning carrying fried egg sandwiches; drink too much coffee; and spend the first half of every week mostly sitting, creating things in abstractions: in pixels, in code, in words.

I drive down the muddy road, navigating ruts so deep they suck the wheels in and cause the underbelly of the car to scrape. I drive past feels burgeoning with runoff, past new grass starting to be green, past the trees fluffy with buds, past the coltsfoot like a thousand small suns blooming at the side of the road.

Some days I drive in silence. It’s the most I can do to true to some kind of center: following one thought after the next, listening to my heartbeat, finding my breath.

Other days I’m too exhausted, and I need a different kind of force to make my inner compass stay the course. I put on bon iver, white hinterland, adele, and turn the volume up until I can feel it in my pulse.

I go, say yes, do, create, ask, answer, appease, promise, push, pull, question, stumble, fall down, get up, try again. And then again, all over, and again.

When I come home some days under a twilight sky, and I find the full throttle mess of the house. I can’t win with the laundry. I never could, but now I don’t even try. A clean pile is better than a dirty pile; forget about matching socks. I come home to the prospect of dinner: sometimes made by T, sometimes an abstraction I must dream up from the bare shelves of the fridge when neither of us have had the time to stop and replenish.

It’s an underfoot, all at once, messy, strenuous, silly, glorious time: dinner, with my three guys. Teaching the boys ones manners at the table is an endless, often hilarious uphill battle. They are primal: they want to eat with their hands. They want to make us laugh. Blowing bubbles into milk never gets old. Stuffing cookies into their mouths whole seems to be the only way to eat them. Then teeth brushing straight way; snuggles; books; pajamas; bed.

I sing to them in the dark, and it’s often then that I get a glimpse of the long view: how this time is so perfect and fleeting, how they’ll be teenagers in an instant, and I’ll be so much farther on my path. And I grin, looking forward to it, and grin being in it, even when there isn’t enough time to pause, or hesitate, or linger for but a moment. Then I turn the lights out, kiss their soft cheeks, and return to the brightly lit corner of my studio where projects are waiting to unfold.