Monday, April 14, 2014
When It Rains
Almost everyone feels a bit poetic when it rains. I guess I should be careful not too think of myself as too grand while I lay in bed nursing and watching the rain. Maybe rain feels cleansing. Last night our apartment felt hot and sticky, almost eighty degrees. By this morning the storm was almost here and our room was cold, all four of us snuggled under throws and afghans. Andrew got up for work just before seven and I was woken by Blanche who was probably cold but insisted I carry her to the living room. I think if you have to be carried out of bed you may not be ready to wake up, but I was in the middle of a disturbing dream when Blanche woke so I didn't mind. I had a dream that I was shot in the chest. There were scratch marks all over the walls and when the abulance came to get me my shooter was the paramedic. He had a scratch under his eye so I knew it was him. I often wonder why I have always had such intense and vivid dreams. I do not watch anything remotely dark because of this. In my dream I was loosing my hearing and slowly fading off, like a sleeping feeling but I knew I was dying.
For a period of time in college I went to a church that told me my dreams meant something. Sometimes I believe them. Sometimes I think it's my brain trying to process all of my emotions with a tired body. I do believe my brain can create symbolism. And I'm sure God could teach me through that.
Maybe my dream was intense because the past few days have felt emotionally intense. I am often a rollercoaster. I feel bad for Andrew. But now I know even though he doesn't enjoy riding the ride all the time, if there was never a drop or rush of adrienaline, it probably wouldn't feel like me. I think people like reading what I write because I am vunerable. I know the people reading along with my ups and downs of motherhood probably feel for me and also occassionally worry that I am depressed. These last couple of days and even months I have been trying to sort through these things. I told Andrew yesterday that I think all of our big life changes hit me at once after Rosemary was born. And now I am looking for something familiar. And in ways, nothing is. It is all new at once. It makes me want to go back to anything familiar. Like living in Arkansas again or becoming a child again and living in our home with the pond in the backyard.
When Andrew and I moved to Texas there was so much unknown. And while we have come so far in some ways, we are just starting out. Thankfully Andrew's career is going well and progressing faster than we would have imagined. Now we have questions of whether to buy or rent and where in this big place we want to live. I like to have a plan. I want more community and activities for Blanche that are easy for me to do with Rosemary. We also have to think of Andrews work commute and how far away we want to live from the city. In the midst of all of this I am trying to figure out what it is I want. I am happy we moved. I am glad Andrew has a career and is doing something he loves. I am just wondering if my priorities have changed. Or when they did.
Days like today I feel like it wasn't that long ago I was a senior in college. Once again the girls and I were in my room. Rosemary was playing in her crib and Blanche was building a cave with pillows like she does every day. I pulled out a journal of photos that I had on the bookshelf. I looked through Polaroids I had taken in Spain. When Andrew and I met I was giving away my possessions and about to graduate. I had plans to leave for India as soon as I could. And now, five years later I live in Texas with two kids. We are talking about buying a house. This is not undiscussed territory. I have student loans that we are paying off before thinking about doing anything based on support living. I now know as well that during the child bearing and young baby years I may not be physically or emotionally ready to live overseas. The truth is, now that I am married and having children, I don't feel this is the time to be overseas. Andrew has started a career with a company that gives something like sabbaticals and has trips to impoverished countries. I know our time will come. There are just days when I wonder how I have gotten where I am.
The other day Andrew and I were listening to NPR. We tuned in mid-story. By what we could gather, a woman wrote a whole novel based on the look a woman had in a painting. As the story was wrapping up Andrew said something along the lines of how this story and lady was crazy. I laughed because I was thinking the opposite. I loved it. The woman was talking about how people write and tell stories because it is engrained in humanity. We tell our stories to make sense of life. I had heard this before, but she was saying that we often write and like to read stories that have a beginning (a normal) and middle (conflict) and end (the new normal). We write like this to make sense of our lives and what happens to us. Humans like stories like this because it helps us process why we are here and what happens to us. I both loved and hated hearing this. Because it is basically how almost all my blog posts are written. I always have some new conflict or a new enlightenment from a conflict. And then I wrap it up and tie a little bow around it. The part of this radio story that inspired me though, was that the woman had apparently written an entire novel on this woman from the painting. I have no idea what the story was about or even what her face looked like. I loved that the lady said when she goes to look at this painting even today, after that whole experience of writing a novel and conclusion on the woman's face in that painting, she still is not sure she got it right. And she has trouble leaving the room. Maybe Andrew thought this part was ridiculous. I loved it though. I think she was saying the story was not as clean as she had made it. Maybe that is why she feels uncomfortable leaving the room.
I sort of feel like this post was like that uncomfortable feeling. I have been writing on and off on my phone as I have had time today. To be honest I hate the way I am having to do things. I feel like I am always ignoring Blanche as I work to get Rosemary to sleep. And Rosemary is a sweet and good baby, but she rarely stays asleep for long out of the baby sling. I feel even more unable to play with Blanche while I am wearing a baby. I figured today though that if Blanche was going to watch tv anyways, while I walked Rosemary to sleep, I might as well be typing on my phone. One of the hardest parts of motherhood and isolation for me is an overactive and underused mind. I think that is why I write. Maybe this post was less of the beginning, middle, and end type of story. We are taught in grade school that all stories and even life is like this. I guess that is why I have a tendency to wrap things up nicely.