Surely it’s unwise to launch into writing with a befogged brain, while succumbing to a cold, feeling weary and confused. Or maybe it’s as good a time to write as ever. There are states of being to describe, after all, like fogginess. It’s chilly and eye-straining, and I keep focusing as hard as I can on the stuff immediately in front of me, but the continual stress of not being able to see ahead is wearing on me.
There’s a blizzard on the way. There’s something vaguely affirming about outdoor conditions reflecting my internal weather. There will be a white-out out there, to match the white-out in here. There’ll be no merry whistling while striding ahead under a blue sky, at least for a while, no. There will be settling in, facing my scattered thoughts, piling up like snowflakes, all softly lying together in an indistinguishable mass of fluff.
My old, indoctrinated self, the one who always wants to Accomplish Something, to Make Progress, to Figure Stuff Out, is none too happy about having a head full of fluff. She flails her imaginary arms and shrieks with her imaginary voice, “Don’t you think you should be focusing harder? Don’t you think you should be planning your next steps? You should have a Life Plan or something. Or at least a Homeschool Plan. You should be planning the garden for the next growing season. You should be doing a food storage inventory. You should have a Writing Plan, some kind of a schedule. You should be figuring out how to achieve Balance and Peace and Productivity for each member of the household. And not only that, Missy, you need to be making a hell of a lot of Progress on your Messed Up Psyche and your Messed Up Relationships.” Geez, that woman, she has a fondness for speaking in Capitalized Words. She thinks she is So Important.
Dearie, please just stuff it for a while. Let me watch the snow. Let me watch the fire. Let me sit and wonder anew at the jaw-dropping miracle that I’m alive at all. What the hell is progress?! So you have the cojones to claim to know what progress is? Do you know how many plans I’ve made? Do you know how many of them blew away in the wind? It’s enough to make me laugh a real belly-laugh, at the up-tightness of Progress Woman, at the indignation of Go-Stuff-It Woman, at the faithful recording of Observer Woman.
Two nights ago I had the opportunity to articulate a vision. I pictured a bonfire, in the woods, with all of my friends there, from near and far, and any of their friends who wanted to come along for the ride. There is talking, and laughing, and much singing and playing of instruments, and dancing. I can picture it so vividly. This bonfire vision keeps rising up, again and again, in my own mind and in the comments of others. I can feel the heat of the fire. I can see the faces of my friends, every nuance of their thoughts and emotions reflected in their eyes. There is so much rejoicing, so much to talk about, so much mirth. I’m laughing so hard I can’t stand up; I fall on the ground, howling with laughter until my belly muscles ache. And the tears of gratitude start, for the companionship, the fire, the nighttime stars, the ground that holds up my body.