Wednesday, July 20, 2011

i'm like, so happy

I think of ants. Or soldiers. Or early 1900's workers. People who knew only to wake before the sun, clean, eat, work until their bones could slide out the skin and the muscle was tender and torn, arrive home at sundown, eat, clean, talk, smile and pinch children, sleep. I think of them and how much easier it is, what Mr. Curry and I are doing, how much luxury we have to make our journey more comfortable. I used to be addicted to comfort. Carrie Fischer says in her book Wishful Drinking that all addicts are obsessed with feeling comfortable from a young age. I was always mortified by anything difficult. Anything hard. I thought I had no strength- so wrong; I had no esteem for myself. I thought I was a dirt clod. An ugly dirt clod. I scratched at the freckles on my pug face, sucked in my round cheeks, blushed furiously when my name was said out loud. pleasedon'tnoticemepleasedon'tnoticeme Strength, I had, but it was all being used for survival. I kept myself in the lowest frequency possible, so survive the long winter. If you are in a rowboat in the middle of the ocean with one loaf of bread, how many bites do you allow for each day? I allowed enough energy to wake, for school, for play, and even then, barely. I complained constantly of being tired and having stomachaches. When I was very small I was tormented at school. Once a little boy in my grade tripped me ( on the same playground where I once stood, stock still in the middle of recess, and had the slow horrible realization that every single child there would one day be dead ) and I broke my wrist. He tripped me on purpose! I don't remember an apology, or any trouble he had from it. -What I wanted from life was just to be comfortable. I obsessively thought about every single thing that made me feel comfortable, like soft cotton shirts, sheets, hot chocolate, cake, candy bars, sitting ( not standing ) being driven places, riding on a bike in gear down a hill, watching T.V., listening to music, lying on my back in the grass, looking at trees, floating in the pool ( not swimming ) falling asleep.

Life now is uncomfortable. It is loud, raucous, dawn to dusk, 24 hours a day, 8 days a week, it is my lunch break at work equaling one hour of a crying baby in a carseat, picking up various children and delivering them to various places and grabbing a burrito and heading back to work, it is dirty bathrooms and kitchens, it is laundry everywhere, it is two very sore backs, it is diminished sex, it is constant tiredness, it is brain fog, it is that frustrating kind of horny where you know nothing's going to happen so calm the hell down genitals! no one is coming for this fire! It is bad timing for talks, it is talking over shouting/crying/cooking/dogsbarking/phonesringing/children bellowing/music playing at 110 decibles on a it is falling asleep sitting up, it is saying sick sound system, Mom,God I'm sorry I forgot for the millionth time or I never got to it, I'm sorry, it is getting to a million things but still feeling crazy you forgot THAT ONE REALLY IMPORTANT THING It is cooking, picking up, nursing, 'just a minute' four hundred times a day, it is 'we'll talk later' it is 'maybe I'll check the calendar' It is Mr. Curry's broken pinky finger, sore back, torn up feet, 13 hour days, and taking Lola out for special time after work, it is weekends of cleaning and running errands and children and evenings where we are too tired to talk and a full time job and a full time life.

It is so uncomfortable. And it is the most soul and heart satisfying work I have ever experienced, and I thank God every day for all of the empty space that no longer exists inside of me, and the crowded house of my family.

I have never worked so hard or been so exhausted and frustrated and overwhelmed and rock solid with love and satisfied and determined all at once.
Elizabeth said...

Allelulia. Sing it. My arms are raised, and I'm swaying to this anthem. Thank you, Maggie.

Autumn Rose said...

Very nice post. I totally agree, and I think it's the same with addicts and also creative people: needing physical and creative comfort. I used to think comfort was the path of least resistance, but it's completely different.

Jane Lancaster said...

that's lovely!

mosey said...

If you hadn't written anything except that last paragraph I would have been nodding my head in recognition. But then you shine a light on it and highlight it starkly and it is a thing of beauty.

Ms. Moon said...

You just gave me a big old epiphany. Wow.
Beautiful.
Just a beautiful post.

Amelia said...

I love this. I love how you describe yourself as a kid, I can so relate. Also? The busybusybusy wow I accomplished a bunch of stuff even though I'm frazzled and exhausted days? My favorite.

Annie said...

Thank you for helping me to appreciate the chaos!

Petit fleur said...

Well done Maggie.

I find that the older I get the saying "Idle hands are the devil's workshop" makes a lot of sense. If we have too much time to ponder, that's often when our minds wander to the past, worry about whatever in our present or future and obsess over things we can't change or that may never happen... And the best part is, that those times that you do get to relax or go on a date with your honey... you appreciate them so much more!

Love to you maggie. Thanks for your clear and passionate voice.
xo

Lone Star Ma said...

Gorgeous.

Evangeline said...

Beautiful post! My new favourite. I'll be thinking on this all day.

Thank you.

Marion said...

Happy is good, very, very good!! Beautiful, wise post, Maggie. Love to you and your beautiful family. 'These are the days you'll remember....' ~Natalie Merchant

jennifer said...

comforting to not be lonely in a room full of people!

Blue Gal said...

I love this.

Caroline of Salsa Pie said...

Amen.

It is hard. It is uncomfortable. But it is Good. You nailed it, Maggie. Nailed it.

And I cried reading this.

Middle Child said...

Sounds like you actually do know the meaning of life - you'd be amazed how many never reflect as you do and spend their lives feeling hard done by or cheated

krista said...

i have this too, i think. this idea that being comfortable is what i really want when really the work of making life work is what lingers, the sore muscles of making it happen. the sedentary softness only feels like a waste. i'm preparing for the tired. for feeling as though i don't have enough to give. for actually having to work. thanks for this.

Angella Lister said...

i am so glad you write, maggie, because when i read what you write, i suddenly understand so much. this is gorgeous writing and thrilling insight.

and you know what? i should have had more babies.

thank you, dear maggie, and love.

modaspia said...

oh i'm so happy for you .. and she's gorgeous, my god! you always make me laugh.

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