I glanced back through my archives and I see over and over again where I’ve tried to lasso time, tried to slow it down. I say I want to savor it all, even the bad…because without the bitter, the good doesn’t taste as sweet. And it’s true. I want to bundle it up and keep it all for a rainy day. I want to be able to look back at these years and see things like they really were. Some days are undeniably awesome, others ridiculously hard. Some days full of joy and laugher, others bleak and dreary. I try to capture it all here in this space, try to give the big picture. I try to write it all down because I know I won’t remember it all. The way she says “bap-le” for apple, the way the big two grin when I wink and they realize that they know something that the little kids don’t, and even the nightmares he has when he thinks ants are crawling out of his toes. I want to remember it all, but I know I can’t. And so I write as much as I can. But even at that, I bend to the light. I tell more of the good than the bad. Is that self-preservation? Am I trying to re-write my own history? Am I doing myself, you, and my children a disservice by not chronicling the bad? Or is it just not kosher to talk about the muddy stuff? It is, after all, the muddy stuff that helps define who we are. It’s the underbelly of our souls that shape our hopes and plans. Shouldn’t we be analyzing that? And not only savoring the happy? (Could I possibly use any more ? in one paragraph)?
I recently re-read the play “Our Town” by Thornton Wilder. I’ve never seen the play or read the book when Emily’s words in the graveyard didn’t knock the wind out of me:
EMILY: Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?–every, every minute?
STAGE MANAGER: No. Saints and poets maybe…they do some.
Do we realize life as we live it? Do we see each moment for what it’s worth? Or do we focus so hard on what’s coming next that we don’t see the now? Are we so focused on getting it all right that we get it all wrong? I don’t know. I just don’t know. Although I do think that maybe I’m over-analyzing it all. Stop, Bridget. Just stop it. Stop and realize life – right here, right now. Every, every minute.
I’m certainly no saint, but I’d like to be a poet – even if it means getting a little muddy.