I have a notebook for my to-do lists. And another for my collected thoughts. I keep these separate.
Because sometimes my collected thoughts become to-do items. And as much as I wish that were the case, it should not always be so.
Finish (client) design.
Drive to Texas.)
Oops. See? That last one shouldn't be there. Not right now, anyway.
Also, I've taken to writing down little feelings. Even if they're two sentences long. It keeps me from Tweeting everything, Facebooking everything, or looking to someone besides God for comfort or clarity.
So these days, I hand her my phone and she snaps photos. I check off to-do items, and scribble the spilling thoughts, and we make the days work. Some days are seamless, beautiful. Other days, I am stitching us together with tears, a few "I'm sorry I shouted" and some "Let's both take some quiet time." In the evening, I pull in her close to my heart and sing.
"Hold me like I'm a baby, mom."
She closes her eyes and curls her legs against me.
"It's not so easy these days, little love. But I'll try."
And then I remember the smell of my mother's Lutece perfume, and the creak of a rocking chair that sat next to the kerosene heater in the winter. Mom would wrap me in an afghan and sing, her alto voice resonating deep from her heart. I would listen, and sleep.
I'm back in my hometown this week, and I'm always caught off guard by how much this isn't home anymore. Sometimes that's what adulthood feels like. Perpetually longing for a home that doesn't exist anymore. Not here anyway. Maybe life on earth is meant to give us a hunger for heaven, so that by the time it comes to us, we are ready. I'd like to think that at least. Our desires are not insatiable.
"Will you be ok when we sell the house?" my sister asks over dripping ice cream and 50s music. She and her husband and their beautiful eight are transitioning, changing and the house that this family has called home since sometime in the mid-70s will end up in someone else's hands. Someone else will make memories there, which is just weird for me. That's our house, I think to myself when I see its peaks in the trees.
But it's not even ours anymore. And when it's gone, the roots in this small town become less deep, and more removed. It's a strange thing, to go from rocking chair and pine trees, to being home and not feeling at home.
"Mom, sing the dream song again," Madeleine says, her legs still tucked under my arms. This may very well be the memory she'll have in 20 some odd years when she's rocking her own. I sing, she leans her head against my chest, and I know my alto voice is buzzing inside her ears. This is home, me and you, I think. Where our skin is close and our hearts sync up, and we hold each other on this spinning planet, singing about the dreams that our hearts make when we're fast asleep.
This weekend I want to go somewhere, but I'm not sure it will happen. So many limitations on this antsy, transient, wanderlusting heart. So many homes to go look for and find, and leave again. Instead, I watch the rain fall, wrap my sweater tighter, pour another cup of coffee, and rock with this spinning earth waiting for redemption.