These are days of thunder-less clouds, of quivering rain-soaked leaves, of things starting out one way and ending another. Expectations are for fools: the bright shiny bits of tinfoil that trick the crows with their dark feathers and bright eyes to plummet towards the ground.
Assortment of birds, small feathered creatures, hopping on the front porch; they keep swooping back and forth across the road; wings like sudden shadows lifting free from the foliage, everything so green it almost aches.
The damp air is sweet with the fragrance of bloom and fruit and soil. The air is so humid it feels like we are drinking water as we breathe our skin slick and salty, feet skimming the gravel. We have hardly been doing things together. No walks, hardly any talks, not even meals! And, I just cannot get my head around the fact … and somehow, its stupid that it frustrates me so much! Solitary! Is what I know of doing things, on my own! Everything, well almost everything … alone. Then why this? The uneven terrain of marriage, breathing hard, sometimes quiet, sometimes telling each other little things.
Sustaining has been the one thing that has held this summer. Even when everything else is at a loss: words, money, time, we’ve had sustaining. Even when things have been endless: rain, worry, self doubt, there has been blood thrumming through the capillaries in our lungs, our rib bones rising and falling hard like the hulls of little boats pitching on a storm tossed sea.
It is something to sustain everyday without expectation. Day in, day out… to “just get onto the boat, do your job” … just go, and gradually mark a difference. I am trying to learn this: to expect nothing and persist.
To wipe sticky cheeks, to weep, to read stories, kiss good morning and nights, experiment with age old recipes, gather words, gather four leaf clovers, gather hope, drink lemonade, drink butter milk, put words on the page, hit the delete key, hit the wall, dig in the dirt, remember, recycle, rinse the plates, stay up late, write… click pictures, collage out of glossies.
Some days it takes everything just to show up for the day. To get out of bed after a night that turned into a wind-whipped laundry line of hours.
I’ll be honest. Some mornings I wake up wanting to put my fist through a wall. There are mornings when I hate the sound of crows in the trees. Mornings where my thoughts are black and jagged and tea seems like a weak substitute for all the hours unslept and torn into fragments by the urgent primal demands of my baby.
And its on those days that perseverance of sustaining matters most. That time on the road has become the footing that makes it possible to go forwards in my life. And look! I can run faster than I ever have.
Some days it is only the only thing saves me: if I can just breathe and I can write. If I can write, I can live. If I can live, I can mother.
It is the hardest thing, this: to turn towards a new day with empty palms, ready to let it be whatever it is, and still to persist stubbornly.