October 16, 2008

An Artist at Work

In The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion regularly repeats some of the more significant lines or quotes that stuck with her during the year after her husband died and her daughter was hospitalized. The line that has stuck with me is, "You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends."
I think so much about death-- it hasn't helped that we are creating a will and changing our life insurance policies-- and I'm also thinking about how this is my life now and will be for a long, long time. It will change gradually, I know. Buckaroo's needs will change. He will turn five and go to kindergarten. Sweet Potato will not always demand cookies the minute she walks in the door, dropping her books on the floor. She will not always try to squeeze in two more minutes of reading Harry Potter at the kitchen table before bed time. R will not always work these obnoxiously long hours. Right?

These changes will be gradual, and while it makes me sad to think of the kids growing up, it's also comforting to know that my life will change, too. I've been panicking over this idea that THIS IS IT, that the landscape of my future is all the same dull gray from here on out.

I know it's not true, and I know there will be a time when I'll look back on these days nostalgically. The other night as I was sitting on the dock in the dark wind, I imagined myself as a jigsaw puzzle with some of the pieces put together to create a idyllic scene, some pieces just falling into place, some still unsorted and upside down in the box, and a few lost under the couch.

So this is a piece that's just falling into place: My life is only as dull as I allow it to be. Maybe it sounds hokey, but I'm going to try to think of every day as a surprise, and, yeah, some surprises are better than others.

Also, I need to make time for myself to write or even more of those puzzle pieces are going to be lost under the couch, which is why Buckaroo is going off for a playdate with the FMF tomorrow. I'm going to fling myself into writing and drinking vast quantities of hot chocolate for four hours.
Today, though, was Buckaroo's day to be the artist. He likes to keep the colors separate I noticed, and he doesn't work in grays at all.

1 comment:

jacob said...

you should be spontanious nd just go out clubin or something to have sum fun missin ya loads from jacobxxxx