Blank Paper

To write is to live. To write is to sketch the heart of me in words. And today I tried. Like a horse stuck behind a starting gate, it’s been months I’ve felt trapped, wanting to break free for the words needing a paper, a form. Today, after getting a fevered child to sleep, the other child occupied elsewhere – herself just over week-long flu, the husband with bad cold comfortable and our college girl busy too, I quick slip out with blank paper and pen clutched to chest. A quiet place found. A chair soft. Crisscross, applesauce, my back against perfect fit. Energy flowing, moving inside the soul of me at the treasured moment I’ve waited for, and no words. Where are the words I’d been aching to jot down? The book I’d charted an outline for? I haven’t the foggiest idea what I’d intended to say, what needs addressing – what the flow might be, and frozen stiff, gate wide open for charging ahead, I haven’t a clue how to ease ahead.

Some say solitude revives the movement. It has for me before. Yet, hunt as I might, no extended stillness can be found. Weeks on end of crisis and survival. I might go into details on all the ways life has been upside down, but they’d be no different than any other mom on a given day in a given life.  I’ve heard it said that motherhood is a season. The idea is to wait out the season, like waiting for a storm to pass. And as children grow up and move on, the chance comes for a mother to experience being human again. This idea is not reality for those of us who have spread our childbearing years out. Our last child we had when I was 42. I will be 60 when she is on her own. And so self-actualization has to be intentional. But how? How does one not lose the drive, the tug, the rhythm of the ground underfoot? I need to know as I’m losing it. Looking out from starting gate, I see nothing but one impossible task after another… no writing, or the solitude it takes. Hope and I part ways. I concede to something possible, like getting a good night kiss placed on cheek, prayers said, door closed, head for bathroom, cool water over my tired face, cream applied thick to hold disappointment lines at bay, I have a secret wish that in the quiet of evening time, words and me will move together once again. The knocking door.… “Momma, I need a drink of water”. And once again, paper waits.



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