16 September 2013

A headless chicken

I feel rather like a headless chicken these days.  I just can't seem to get myself organized enough to sit and paint.  I've been dying to do a few watercolours, especially as Fall explodes around me.  But then J has a little accident, or S wants to be fed, or M needs to be picked up from school.  Not to mention the state of my bathrooms, the fact that my floors have not been washed yet (I really need to get on that!), nor the fact that meals tend to be rather primitive for the most part (sandwiches anyone?).  Fingers crossed that meatloaf makes the menu tomorrow.

I wanted to share this segment of a short story by Michael O'Brien.  It really resonates with me in so many ways. 

She told me once that people have changed a lot since she was a young woman. It’s true. We are different. We rush through our lives trying to get it all in, trying to get too many things done too fast. And as a result we make hasty decisions. We do not appreciate things very much. We are seldom grateful. We work and play and shop and “have liturgies” on the run. We cook and eat on the run. We consume news and entertainment and education on the run. We “improve” our minds on the run. We strain toward some elusive concept of “success” on the run. We settle for junk food, mass-produced filler that looks and smells and even tastes like food. We rarely choose to make a thing slowly and carefully with passionate love for its meaning. We have developed the habit of doing many things poorly, rather than a few things well. Is it really possible to think clearly in such a state? Is it possible to listen? 

For me, I cannot.  I cannot think or listen clearly, and so I love that being at home with my children has slowed life down in such a way as to live each moment as it comes with purposeful joy.  Yes, sometimes my attention is asked (nay demanded!) 3 different ways at the same time, but it is not a mindless, quick-paced, do-it-all environment.  We choose what to do each day and hope for the time to finish what we start.  It doesn't always get done, and I'm ok with that.  I've had tons of unpeeled garlic cloves sitting on my counter for the past 4 days now - it needs to be chopped up and frozen.  But reading with J, or going to the park is so much more important to me and to them.  I lament now that M has started school, it subtracts from our time together in this slow and comfortable manner.  As a friend very wisely predicted, my time is largely spent in the late afternoons and evenings on activities that quiet, calm and re-centre my darling son.  It is fun for us to bond over Lego, blocks, books, or those wonderful Thomas the Tank Engine audio books.  We both need that time, I think.  It is our way to connect, to remember home, to quiet our spirits.

So, I believe I have a load of laundry that needs to be turned over.  And a pillow that is calling out to me in irresistible tones.  Good night and sweet dreams... (ooo, and thanks D for the delicious melted cheese sandwich you just brought me!)

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