Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Knot Mine?

Writing and parenting.
It's like sticking a monster knot under a 
magnifying glass.

I see the glowy summer threads: road trip, 

happy cousins,

ice cream shop,

book binges, 

lightning storm pajama party.

Those snaggled inky threads are my
writing huddles,
snatches of corner-swept minutes,
scratches of manuscripts
sent and re-sent.
The loopy jumble is the rest:
Dust. Dirt. Chaos.
Wadded-up socks.
"Don't spit on your sister."
Fingerprinty windows.
"Don't chew your shoes."

I have no idea how to bring my crazy,
wordy, artsy, noisy,
kid-rich world into balance,
how to un-tug this muddle of snarled thread.

And then... I look at it without the magnifying glass
and it almost makes sense...
like a tapestry I've been studying on the wrong side,
or paint daubs too, too close.

Sometimes our knots are holding things together.
Sometimes the knots are the balance.

This life,
this funny, dirty,
lovely shambles is mine.
Every minute of it.

Whether published or not,
or a bit tattered on the edges.

So here's my advice, writer mamas and papas.
Put the magnifying glass down.

Don't worry about the peanut butter smudges or the dog hair
or the piles of paper.
Write on.
Enjoy the burnt toast and the sacred dirt.
Write on, busy bees.
Write on.
This is the good life.

Our summer road trip books:

Ramona the Brave - Beverly Cleary
Ellen Tebbits - Beverly Cleary
Toot and Puddle - Holly Hobbie
Journeycake Ho! - Ruth Sawyer, illustrated by Robert McCloskey
Fast Food - Saxton Freymann, Joost Elffers
The Magic Half -Annie Barrows, illustrated by
The Diamond of Drury Lane - Julia Golding
Mercy Watson to the Rescue - Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Chris Van Dusen

Check out some rich words on summer writing and parenting over at Words A Day blog.


Words A Day said...

serendipity:) Can I link to your post Faith- I've just written a similar but less poetic /insprational one on the same theme:)

Faith Pray said...

Thank you, Niamh! I'd love to connect our posts!

Jan Morrison said...

Oh Faith - this is just what I needed to hear. Disturbing news from a grown son, a very busy (good but intense) day at work with my clients - no writing except my morning poem - got home at 8:30 to no dinner and a message from our real estate agent - can someone come out tomorrow morning at ten AM. Gah! So, me and the man grumpily vacuumed, dusted, wiped, and now I'm having my dinner - just a dash of triple sec (out of gin - dang!) some soda water and a slice of lemon. Can't get the kitchen messy.
Yes, knots and knots and knots. I do hope the people come and love it to bits so we don't have to keep it preturnaturally clean anymore. I like to live in my house. yes. I do.
I love your lovely life from here - your dear kids and your endless energy to keep them creatively growing. I send you whacks of kisses from over here on the east coast!

M. Bloom said...

Oh, the photo of that dear little nose-y pressed against the magnifying glass... love it!

And Ellen Tibbits -- a wonderful reading memory from my childhood (tho' my fav' is the story GALLONS OF GUPPIES in the book titled HENRY HUGGINS, and the story RAMONA AND THE PTA in the book HENRY & RIBSY is lough-out-loud funny!!)


Barb Davis-Pyles said...

I love this post, Faith. It's helping me keep the faith. Write on.

Dawn Simon said...

I came by to see what you and your cutie kids might be up to, and I'm so glad I did! Beautiful post. Love it!! Yes, write on! Hugs to you, Faith.

Ruthie Redden said...

Beautifully written Faith, i so used to think the same in the midst of my kiddie chaos. After 29yrs my last one, my no3 has just flown the nest & Im kind of wishing i had a bit of tangle left here, everything suddenly seems too smooth & ordered now ;) Those knots & tangles are your lovely, crazy, busy, happily living it life ~ isn't it fun! dont ever try to make sense of it, just enjoy , but then i know u do anyways. x x


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