Filed under: Life

Life in Passing

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010 • 4 Comments on Life in Passing

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look
around once in a while, you could miss it.
~ Ferris Bueller

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Sometimes I feel like my life is like this picture. A blur of activity and motion and time passing, with no clear center or focus.  (The picture is actually the result of a baby grabbing the camera to prevent his picture being taken and photographing the foliage overhead instead.)  It’s September.  The kids are back in school. Patrick is nine months—nine months!!—old.  My first anthology for Cleis Press has been on the shelves for two months and I’m getting ready to submit my second collection and start planning the third. Jay has been home from his umpteenth deployment for going on four months (though he’s been out of town for about a month of the past four). We’re going to celebrate our twentieth wedding anniversary in a month.

Time is passing. Quickly. And I’m trying to stop and look around once in awhile, as wise young Ferris recommended a crazy 24 years ago, but it’s just so darn hard sometimes.  The days are a blur of activity and routine and squeezing in just one more thing before bed.  Baby milestones to record and stories to write and diapers to change and laughter to soak up and lists to make and plans to plan and phone calls to return and precious few hours of sleep to recover from it all.  Oh, but life is good. So very, very good.

I spend a lot of time contemplating the future that is rushing up on me, rather than simply enjoying the present.  The next book, the next story, the next milestone, the next doctor’s appointment.  Do I want another baby?  Or a Ph.D.? Or a M.F.A.? Should I go back to teaching in the spring? Do I want to edit another dozen anthologies or do I want to write my own novel?  Family trip to Chicago or Disney World next year? Can I swing a fun trip on my own in the fall?  When can I revisit my beloved London? Should we move to a new city/neighborhood? When? Will Patrick be ready for Montessori school at two or three? Remodel the kitchen first, or the office/playroom? So many questions. It’s a wonder I get any sleep at all.

The days still pass, oblivious to all the things still left on my list to do.  Slow down, slow down, I tell myself.  Enjoy this moment.  This one right hereEnjoy it!  And I do, I swear I do. I ignore the nagging guilt that I still have so many other things to do and accomplish and, hey, I’m not getting any younger thoughts, and I enjoy the happy moments as they come. Sometimes, I even revel in them, letting that knot of ambition coated in guilt and anxiety slowly loosen so that I barely notice it at all.  And then I catch my breath and think, oh yes, this is what it’s all about.  A summer’s day, a blanket in the grass and the loves of my life.

This is what life is all about.

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Slow down, you move too fast
You got to make the morning last
Just kicking down the cobblestones
Looking for fun and feeling groovy

~ Simon and Garfunkel

 

Posted by Kristina in Life
 

Rambling Paths

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010 • 4 Comments on Rambling Paths

I blink and a week has gone by. I think that pretty much sums up 2010 so far. What a crazy, unpredictable, maddening, wonderful year it’s been. So far. I feel like the year is mostly over, but there are almost five more months to confound, confuse and delight me.

Speaking of feeling like the year is almost over, I’ve started my holiday shopping, have you? (Don’t throw things at me, even virtually. Unless it’s chocolate or affection.)  I don’t even know how it happened. Like other (good) things in my life, I guess it happened by accident. A perfect gift for someone becomes a holiday gift tucked away. If I can wait that long, of course.

Patrick turns 8 months old tomorrow. I never managed to write his 7 month letter, so I will spend some time tomorrow recounting two months in his young life. The time… oh my. He is amazing and awesome and all those other things that moms say about their kids, so I’ll spare you the gushing. It’s not all sunshine and roses, but it’s pretty damn close. At least for now. Crawling (and walking) is on the horizon and I’m sure there are trying times ahead. And good times, too. Did I mention my rotator cuff injury?  My shoulder is jacked up from carrying the 95th percentile baby. Sunshine and roses and doses of Aleve.

The biggest thing I’ve taken away from this new mom thing?  I’m still me. Wow. Maybe that’s not as big a thing to you as it is to me. But, crazy as it sounds, I thought the baby would come out and I would be… someone else. Maybe I am and I don’t know it. (Do the crazy people know they’re crazy?) Maybe I need to take a poll. But I feel like me and I seem to generally act like me, though I talk about baby stuff a lot more than I did pre-baby (which is to say, I never talked about baby stuff pre-baby, so any change in that regard was going to be huge), but yeah, there I am in the mirror each morning, looking and sounding and acting like me. Sweet.

Today is an old friend’s birthday. We’re going out to celebrate on Thursday. It’ll be a reunion of sorts. Reunions are nice, aren’t they?  At least the kind you are looking forward to, and not the kind imposed upon you by family. This is the good kind. I’ve had a few reunions in the past several months, all good. Well, mostly good. Some reunions remind you why you were separated in the first place. But I’m a sentimental sort (hell-o, old car I won’t get rid of!) and I like that sense of not having to explain myself to someone who already knows me.  Maybe that’s why I’m a fan of writing erotic reunion stories—you can get to the good stuff quicker.  Hmm.

There are days that I look at my current life and am filled with an odd sense of surprise. Where did this child come from? How did it come to be that I am someone’s mother?  I know the mechanics of it, of course… but could not have predicted this path for myself a year or two ago.  I have planned and prepared and attempted to control my destiny, but much of my life has been unpredictable.  Moments of serendipity, luck, coincidence. Going with my instincts instead of what I’ve been told is right or proper. Making my own path, even if it’s different than the path I thought I wanted. Making lemonade out of lemons?  Maybe. Or maybe just being open to the possibilities the universe has presented. Saying yes instead of no. Laughing instead of crying.  Living and learning and still being amazed at life’s little mysteries and people’s little quirks.

I wish I were a better writer. If I were, I could put into words how I feel. I wish I were a songwriter, because even mediocre lyrics sound pretty good when set to music.  I wish I were better at a lot of things. I wish I were more. But at the end of the day and after all life has thrown at me, I’m still me. And that’s something.

Posted by Kristina in Life
 

A Life Overflowing

Thursday, April 8th, 2010 • No Comments on A Life Overflowing

The always inspirational Shanna Germain shared an “is in love with” post on Facebook, which inspired me to write the following:

Kristina Wright is in love with: her pretty pink pedicure (polish name: Naked); the lush sensuality of Pablo Neruda’s poetry; the freedom that having a fabulous babysitter brings; the starting-to-bloom azaleas and other spring blossoms; the promise of a happy, creative spring; and the sense of returning self…

Not a bad list, is it?  The pedicure is my first since September, when my belly was already huge and baby was still three months from being born.  Much needed, it heralds the beginning of spring and warmer days.  As I was enjoying this little bit of pampering, I was thinking how it was just like that last pedicure, except my beach-ball stomach is gone and I’m now somebody’s mother.  Weird.  Wonderful.  Weird. I do love that I picked a polish called Naked.

Pablo Neruda has been on my mind lately, since Neve Black shared her passion for him on her blog.  I’ve blogged before about my love for Nerdua’s poetry… lush and sensual.  Ohhh… I do love Pablo Neruda.  I haven’t seen the movie Neve recommends—Il Postino—but I think I must.  This poem seems particularly fitting for spring:

Ode To Enchanted Light

Under the trees light
has dropped from the top of the sky,
light
like a green
latticework of branches,
shining
on every leaf,
drifting down like clean
white sand.

A cicada sends
its sawing song
high into the empty air.

The world is
a glass overflowing
with water.

Oh… how can you not love Neruda?

Speaking of spring… the azaleas are beginning to bloom and that always makes me smile.  The blossoms are fleeting… like spring in the south… and to be enjoyed for the brief time they are here.

Spring brings renewal in mind and spirit and a returning sense of my own identity in the midst of motherhood.  I’m writing again and it’s like I’m just now discovering what it is to be a writer.  I’m finding myself pulled in new directions creatively, driven to reach farther that I ever have.  It’s nice to feel the pieces falling into place, in a way that is more natural than anything I could have imagined. I still feel a twinge when I leave Patrick with the babysitter he adores, but it’s not a bad feeling anymore, it’s a reminder that I am somebody’s mother.  I can still leave and be me… alone… for a time, just like always.  I am still me… I am now Mama.  Everything is the same… and everything is different. 

It’s a grand adventure, this parenthood thing.  No one told me about that part.  I heard the rainbows and flowers part, but I never heard about the adventure of seeing the world and life through new eyes.  It isn’t all rainbows and flowers—sometimes it’s hard as hell and I still have to do it (and get up tomorrow and do it again), but that’s what an adventure is.  It’s twists and turns and not knowing what’s going to happen next and crazy-making moments and moments of quiet, intense perfection.  A grand adventure.

I’m in love with a life overflowing… and this smiley, goofy little face.

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Posted by Kristina in Life
 

I'm a writer, editor, blogger, mama, wife and coffee lover.

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