It is dark in my house, although it’s only 4 in the afternoon.
There is something about being alone, in your most comfortable place, during a dark afternoon. It’s like a magical gift.
A light scent of lavender incense wafts through the tall ceilings, circling the balloons — still clinging to their float from days before. I’ve been working, writing all day long. Reading in the downtime in between.
This is a goal of mine. To read more. I used to read with fervor; ingesting all the words I possibly could. In moments in between the busy (what did I even know about busy then?), and in long Saturday afternoons back when Saturday afternoons were just for me.
And ok, ok, you got me. I made a cocktail because it isn’t everyday I get an afternoon in my house, alone. Don’t get me wrong, the padding of loudness that comes with a family in this house is perfection. But those moments when I can be alone, in my house — those are the quiet gems of time when I can find that inner self I knew for so long who could relish in words, and wine, for hours.
As you know, my Cheryl Strayed connection is a pretty big deal right now — and today, I started Wild.
Yeah yeah, I know (’bout time). When it came out I was writing my own book about the rhetoric of death, completely unaware of the New York Times best seller list. And you better believe me when I tell you, I wasn’t going to be reading any “best sellers” list — and you can forget Oprah’s book club (HA! no way).
I was going to be reading obscure, independent press releases cause I was way too cool.
Now who do I look to for inspiartion? Oprah and Cheryl Strayed. Oh, and Liz Gilbert — cause DUAH.
Grown up shit.
Also for the record, I haven’t seen the movie, Wild. I think, somewhere inside, I’ve been waiting to read the book first. I haven’t done that too many times — read the book before the movie — mostly because the books weren’t on my radar.
Annoying side note: I did do this with Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I actually finished the book the weekend the movie came out. I RAN TO THE THEATER the second I read the last paragraph and it was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. Liz Salander is such a raging bad ass. Rooney Mara = girl crush forever.
I’m trying for a repeat.
So, here is my beauty run-in for today. From Wild.
Then I stop. And, I think.
First, about what my daughter will know of me — will I be open and honest and tell her all the things as she grows?
Will she understand and appreciate? Will she even CARE? My greatest fear in life is that she will pull away from me — which I suppose is always inevitable. But I want to try. I want to try to tell her ALL the stories; leave nothing out. I want to give her credit that she can handle all my truths, in time.
Second. I think of my own mother.
I feel most connected to my mother when I think of the younger version of her.
A mother with 3 young girls; maybe 30 or so. When we were small and she was interested in feminism and smashing the patriarchy (as much as a young Mormon mother could want to). I remember one year for Christmas, she got a book about women in the priesthood (if you don’t know, that’s not a thing). I am pretty sure my Father got it for her. And, this was a feminist book — as much as a Mormon publication could be. Or was it even a Mormon publication? I don’t know. I am sure that book is long gone. And, my mom has made it very clear to me that she would never, now, call herself a feminist.
But it was there in her heart, once. And I am proud of that memory. I am so glad that image, of her book — propped up on the couch with the rest of her gifts that year — has stuck with me.
I think we, so badly, want to know and understand our mothers. On a cellular level. I think I understand my mother — but I do not think she has uncovered things about herself that I would want to know better.
How can you connect to parts of someone that are buried?
As a mother of a daughter, I can’t think of anything more important to me than allowing my daughter to know me. To not hide parts of myself that might be hard.
To be open. Honest. When the time for truth shows itself.