As June melts into July, and we settle into yet another new home, there is plenty to fracture and divide our time from our desire. There is unpacking and all those decisions of where to hang this mother’s portrait or that Bowie painting. There are boxes of cleaning supplies that look too much like work, so I vote to banish them to the cellar while she might actually want to use them. There’s me wandering on the front lawn in my bathrobe to catch the early light and getting sidetracked by raindrops on broad leaves instead of finding the lid to the pot still stuck in a box somewhere. Me wandering. Finally, I’d add. Stop the lists of to-do’s for a single moment and feel dewy grass.
I often remember my mother. As I look at her engagement ring now on my finger. As I stand in front of her mirror that hangs over my bureau as it did hers. As my hands fold while I pretend to listen to someone but really mull over the plans I’m making for next week. I’m sure she did that too. She loved plans. Her calendar reigns legendary with luncheons and concerts and vacations, but also work obligations. Both my parents could work away weeks and months and years. Could and did. My spouse hails from similar stock. Her mother often held two jobs while running their household and her father never stopped making stuff once home from fixing stuff. Workers for generations. These past weeks I thought of them a lot. As we packed up and hauled boxes and crates and art and pans and tools and clothing and love letters and bills and mementos that trigger memories we cherish. We hurt ourselves hauling so much. But we kept at it. Like that twisted telephone cord my mother stretched from one end of the kitchen to the other as she settled the dishes and pots back after dinner chatting it up with one sister or another.
I say that I am determined to make July stop. For short moments at least. To make this month one where work doesn’t rule. But as I let my eye sweep across my new home I see this will take some effort for there is always more to do, isn’t there? And here is exactly when one need be vigilant about time. It can fall like fine sand in the perennial glass or can slow in your palm. I’m fixating on the slow although that place is often the least likely one we agree to visit. More often we close the door and say not now. The place inside where our inner workings have been left to collect dust and grime, while we instead cater on more seemingly pressing activities like fretting over our lack of retirement funds or questioning our grown children’s decisions; but this July I hope to dance even in the daylight and write whenever I fancy, but even more so, read books and meditate or sit quiet. Those activities that direct me right into fear or regret, those dark spots. If I sink deep enough perhaps I can wrestle something out. See every side of the mess. Bring me back into focus. See that one, again. Steady myself for what may come.