January 5, 2012

The Tree of Life

The lice comb-thrus are wearing me down. I hate to complain, I think it's more the nervousness I have each time we sit, my eyes burn as I hold back premature tears, afraid of what I might find. Not sure I can handle another stomach drop, another let down, another bump in the road. Which is quite the metaphor for my life and relationships lately, I'm not really sitting down with anyone or even being honest with myself, afraid of what I might find and what I might not be able to handle. I'm so sleepy but sleep won't have me.

I'm weepy and over tired and yet I looked inside my fridge this morning, as it overflowed with good food for my family, and the boys' new shoes, and I have so much. How could I be so sad? I'm just run down, it's all okay, really.

A bag of noodles sat at the bottom of the basement steps all day. It tumbled from the pantry down the stairs when I put away groceries this morning and every time I passed I had my hands full of laundry and meant to come back down to pick it up but something else always filled my arms, until this evening, I saw it again like it was the first time even though I'd passed it all day long. And I put it away.

Since I have been on a break from freelance writing, my jaw has been loosening its clench, and the ground feels a little more solid. Noah asked me late if I had a lot of work to do on the computer tomorrow and I said no, I am not working so I can be here more. Whatever and wherever "here" is, for me right now, it has so many meanings. I can't get these words by Sylvia Plath out of my mind, they splintered me when I came across them again:


"Sometimes I dream of a tree, and the tree is my life.

One branch is the man I shall marry, and leaves my children.

Another branch is my future as a writer and each leaf is a poem.

Another branch is a glittering academic career.

But as I sit there trying to choose,

The leaves begin to turn brown and blow away

Until the tree is absolutely bare."

-The Tree of Life, Sylvia Plath


I laundered a sparkly tulle princess dress today, on delicate, because it just wasn't made to be worn on the toilet. 


32 comments:

  1. So so beautiful my friend. I understand you. i hear you. you are not alone in this. we are in the trenches and it is hard.
    xoxo

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  2. This post made me catch my breath, and inhale and exhale way deep down.

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  3. "a big breath" I understand you, I think we all have those kind of days and it's hard, but all I know it's that better days are coming, You are not alone on this, so much love for you and yor beautiful family !

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  4. amazing. and so many of us are in this same place. under this same tree. xo

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  5. When I get overtired it gives the depression a foothold. Don't forget to look after yourself and get enough rest <3

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  6. Wow Sylvia Plath's words and yours. They go so well together. Not surprising. Hang in there sweet friend.

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  7. I'm still up at midnight even though I'm sick because my girl is sick too and she woke up puking two hours ago and choking and it was awful and I'm afraid that if I go to sleep it will happen again... Silly, I know. But it's my reality right now... And if it helps any I just want you to know that I get it and I'm sending big Internet bear hugs your way. And now I'm going to make myself relax and sleep because Fiona is right the depression will come if I let overtired become my pattern.

    Rest sweet lady - and gather those most important leaves into your bosom - you'll see them turn into gold. And most importantly - there will be no regret so big that it can dim the shine of that gold.

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  8. Hang in there mama. This is one of those days/times when you can ask God daily, probably hourly, for the strength you need to get through the day. Just like Jesus had enough food to feed the 5,000, God gives us moms just enough to get through it as well. xxoo

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  9. Prayers going up for my Teffer! (As your Poppal would say) Love you, Aunt Diane

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  10. Feeling the withering leaves myself. Let's just sit under the shady branches for a bit & breathe.

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  11. Your words. I felt myself holding my breath through each word.

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  12. Sending hugs my luv. Big, big hugs.

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  13. Oh, January. It's such a stark month, standing in such contrast to what came before. December's snow and cold was warm and festive, but in January it's just an empty cold. Depressing.

    That said, I happen to know that in just a couple of days you'll have reason to celebrate. And I hope you will. XO

    Oh, and that Sylvia. She has wise words...

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  14. God believes in you more than you believe in yourself. He is cheering you on and so are we, your readers and friends. I pray you use this season to accomplish your goals, love on those kiddos and let the dreams He has in store for you shine and break free!

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  15. Always. On. Point. You.

    Love you.

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  16. You are always so good at honesty and describing life as a mom in ways that really touch to the core. And that poem? Still catching my breathe from that one. I hope today is a good day for you.

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  17. Being a mom is so exhausting and emotional and eternal!
    (how's that for alliteration? Is it alliteration when it's a vowel? Not sure!)

    This is how my brain goes--full speed from one turn to the next.

    You are a wonderful mom and it's okay to not be happy all the time!

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  18. Sylvia Plath & winter go hand in hand don't they?

    SAD disorder - I had forgotten about it until I moved back north ... Spring seems so far away in January

    Thank you for your honesty - I hope the sun shines where you are soon!

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  19. I hope you have a better day, better week ahead. Taking a break has come at a good time for you it seems. Some day you will look back on all of this and wonder how you made it through.
    Jen
    The Whole Bag of Chips

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  20. It seems that quite a few of us are buried deep under this winter already. I hope you can always see the light, no matter how far away it is.

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  21. Sister, that lice thing will plunge anyone deep, deep into KILL ME NOW. I hate it so much. I hate it for you.

    Thank you for sharing that poem. I haven't read it in ages in it reminds me of a long-time-ago me in a university classroom and I could explicate it then but I live it each day now. Sometimes I would like to go back and take all of my English major classes again, now that I've lived a little, you know?

    Grateful for you.

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  22. As a comrade in arms (the lice), I feel some of that exhaustion. Good plan to put down the computer tomorrow. Get some rest. I always think surfing will make me rest, but it only makes me more frantic. Rest! Rest! I'll be doing laundry tomorrow and thinking of you.

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  23. Chin up, Steph. You are more awesome than you know and all of us around you (especially your kids and husband) know how bright and beautiful you are.

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  24. "Not sure I can handle another stomach drop, another let down, another bump in the road. Which is quite the metaphor for my life and relationships lately, I'm not really sitting down with anyone or even being honest with myself, afraid of what I might find and what I might not be able to handle. I'm so sleepy but sleep won't have me."

    Did you write inside my brain when you wrote this? Just checking. xoxo

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  25. This is gorgeous. And as you said to me: I get it.

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  26. Oh my, yes. I know this.

    {You're still glittery.}

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  27. Aw, gosh... We are so cyclical, aren't we? Thank goodness there's always a matching UP for each of our DOWNS. For what it's worth, as far as I can see from where I sit, every one of your leaves is beautiful and coursing with life and color and beauty no matter what season you're in. xo

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  28. Sylvia is a soul soother. Did you know we sat on her step a few months ago and wrote her notes and left her flowers? It was magical.

    The noodles can wait, I'm learning and you remind me. I've taken a break, too, from everything that made my jaw clench. Being here, now, in this spot, is worth too much.

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  29. I love how every one of your blog posts is like a gift, more poetry than prose.

    And I'm sorry about the lice comb-throughs. The very idea makes my scalp itch.

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  30. oh yes and yes. you always echo exactly what I am thinking.

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  31. I so feel your pain on the lice. They have been in my life for the past YEAR (no joke). Just curious how the Argon oil is working for you? I am sooo over putting anymore chemicals on either one of my daughters hair. :-(
    Christie
    christieg_99@yahoo.com

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