November 6, 2011

Dear shadow alive and well

Yesterday I wanted to go to the beach and climb the Dunes in the colored trees, one last time before all the leaves are gone, but no one felt like leaving the house. So I puttered and muttered and put away laundry. I was wearing a cute outfit and hated to see it go to waste.

I decided to trek to the library alone. Filling my arms with books people think I've already read but haven't, by Anne Lamott and Madeleine L'Engle. I also checked out four CDs: Fleet Foxes (both of them), The Allman Brothers Legendary Hits, and Fugees The Score.

It was Friends of the Library book sale day, so seeing as how I was in no rush to leave, I poked around and found the heaviest art books they had. I breathed a shelf and was in the college book store, buying my text books with my own money again. But in a blink I'm back, I'm not her anymore. Now I'm a mom and old. And I'll study art one way or the other. I buy The History of Art (823 heavy pages), American Realism, The Flag Paintings of Childe Hassam, Visual Shock, and Making Modernism, all for fifteen dollars. Oh, and a Batman comic for Carter. I could barely carry the bag out to my car, and when I got home made two trips inside.

Then I washed a load of towels for the third time because that's how many times I forgot to put them in the dryer.

21 comments:

  1. I hate it when I forget to put stuff in the dryer and have to re-wash. Beautiful post, Steph :)

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  2. You are my hero. For both the trip to the library by yourself AND the washing of the towels three times!! (And also, I just washed mine a second time!)

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  3. fleet foxes are the cure to any ho-hum day. well-played.

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  4. I envy that you had a day no one wanted to leave the house. We have too few of those...but yeah that you got out by yourself.

    And I have to re-wash clothes a lot for the very same reason and hubby and I giggle often about how many times we have fluffed the same load in the dryer. It could be frustrating, but I rather consider it quite comical!

    Jen

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  5. I love Anne Lamott. Grace Eventually and Traveling Mercies are both wonderful. Worth the read!

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  6. oh gosh, I think we were destined to be friends.. that sounds like my 'sign out' list if I were to go to the library!! Way to go mama, embrace those arts in whatever tattered pages you may find them. xo
    Mel ;o)
    www.needleandnestdesign.blogspot.com

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  7. Doesn't this time -- post-babies, full-on raising kids mode -- bring you back to those glimpses of previous You even more often then the days when they needed us constantly? And yet, we still don't have the time to go back (or forward) and embrace those parts of us that have been on hiatus. But we see glimpses of her more, and some days we can even touch her. We're not old. We're older. More experienced and wise and confident and sexy. (And tired.) But we *will* study art or play piano or write poetry or train for that marathon, even while raising our families. We will do it. Transition times (from one phase of life to the next) are hard and a little messy, and I think the post-weaning of the final baby days have been a particularly soul-searching, mind-wrestling time for me. It sounds like for you, too.

    This was a long comment. I'm not even going to go back and re-read to make sure it makes sense. I'm just going to trust that we get each other.

    MISS YOU.

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  8. I am always rewashing clothes. I find that spraying Febreze on them works just as well as rewashing. ;) Maybe I just stink and no one's told me yet?

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  9. This has been my year of Madeline L'Engle (Anne Lamott was four years ago). Her words? Breath for my bones. (I hope you got Walking on Water?)

    Also? I love this.

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  10. I'm sorry no one would go to the beach with you. It always bums me out when I want to do something and no one wants to go with me.

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  11. You should really be hosting Just Write :) Sheesh, you're good at it.

    So I will put myself on repeat:
    I love this so much.

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  12. thank you for reminding me to go check that load I put in the washer Saturday night... :)

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  13. I love going to the library by myself. Then I can take my time, wander the aisles, read the magazines... and I have done that same thing SO many times w/ the laundry. Sigh.

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  14. Sometimes I get confused when I think about those days. I'm so different now, in ways that don't even relate to kids (or maybe they do and I just haven't realized it), that I question whether or not that person was really me.

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  15. Anne Lamott and Madeleine L'Engle....

    Two of my favorite authors [EVER]!!! What books did you get?

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  16. I love your voice. Beautiful post. I catch myself playing with my shadow now and again, as well.

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  17. Love your candor, Steph! Nice to know that someone else runs the same load three times now and then! : )

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  18. I love your posts. Really all of them. I can so relate to glimpsing that person I once was. I love art too, and have lately been checking out library books about art supposedly to try to teach my kids about art, but really just because I enjoy it so much.

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  19. That's awesome...I love it:)

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  20. You breathed a shelf and were in the college bookstore ... EXACTLY! A scent is the absolute quickest and most precise way back to a memory for me, and smell is the one sense that allllllllways makes me feel SO VERY THERE when it's what triggers a memory. Why IS that?

    She's in there - and you and she will be one again. And what's extra-special is that as you find her again, you will get to see and feel her intersecting with your kids as they also find her in themselves. I know you've seen glimmers of her already in Ivy.

    AND OMG YOU ARE NOT OLD. Sheesh.

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