Tuesday, June 05, 2012

paths

It's one of those times when I think: "What kind of stars exactly have had to align to find me here in this moment -- sitting in my car on a Tuesday night in rural Massachusetts in the parking lot of a Big Y supermarket listening to The Cure on the radio and eating Poptarts?" I know many of you have likely asked yourselves that very question probably a million times.

It is the Great Baby Escape 2012.

Life paths are funny things. Say to me 20 years ago - "You will have two kids and be excited when you haven't burned the lasagna!" And my 22-year-old self will laugh, "Screw off!" and skip carefree across the Ponte Vecchio while awaiting the end of the Italian train strike. Say it to me 3 years ago and I will laugh equally hard  before zipping south on Highway 1 toward a writing retreat along the Big Sur coastline.

Rhys is 10 months old today. Unless you are adjusting for his four-week early birth. These days I think of it mostly in terms of getting a jump start on that sleep deprivation.

I am at a wall. This is hard. I am tired. More than tired. My friends are far away. I am sad.

Every day I encounter people whose paths I ponder.

The podiatrist who sees me for 7-minute meetings in a dingy little office every couple months and asks with a shrug and not a glance at my little piggies how everything is going but has never inquired about my lifestyle or factors affecting the issues with my feet and who can squeeze me in three weeks later when I'm in pain... is this what he dreamed of doing with his time on this earth?

The TV meteorologist who shudders at the rain in an Everyman kind of attempt at camaraderie and asks leading dramatically-presented, pre-commerical break questions such as, "Will we see any improvement by the weekend?!?" ...does he sleep well at night believing he's contributing to a better world?

The contractor, who you are supposed to imagine building something with tools and his hands despite his sharply ironed pink designer label button down and perfect hair, and who uses your name too much ("Kathryn, I'm glad we could meet today. Let me ask you a few more questions, Kathryn...")...what did he want to be when he grew up?

And me. Who knows. Who knows what I wanted. All I want now is sleep. But do remember this -- the world needs saving, people. Choose your Poptarts carefully.

Take a stroll into a flashback post...This time last year.



3 comments:

Rita said...

I do wish I could save you and the world. I wish there was something I could say that wouldn't be just "easy for [me] to say." I wish sleep deprivation didn't go with the joy of babies.
I love you, Sis.

Susannah said...

Ditto what Rita said. Just know that your writing touches me, makes me laugh, and ponder, and feel less alone in the world. And that photo of Rhys at the top is a true delight. What a goofball!

As for my choice of pop tarts, gotta ponder that one a bit...

lizjonesbooks said...

life is made of two things-- presence and absence. YOu can't have one without the other. YOu've been so present so very much that absence is an alien landscape, I suspect-- I'm right there with you as I come down from a 90 hour work week schedule to something approaching sanity and try to figure out what downtime means, exactly. There's more "down" in it than I thought. And a lot more confusion, much of it of the existential sort, because I have time to think again, and to ponder what my actions mean, both proximate and ultimate. It may not feel like recharging your batteries to be in this shape, but I firmly believe that periods like this are essential to balance, and a full experence of life. I'm trying to absorb the lessons here-- hope you find some too. And make sure to have some of those brown sugar and cinnamon poptarts... :o) (((hugs)))

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