Monday, August 19, 2013

when the light changes

i took Lola, Ever, Ian and E. to the outdoor movies at our local park

Dakota was here last night and after he dropped off one of his best friends, and his girlfriend, who had all been here late at night eating chicken, he returned home to spend the night. I was watching Parenthood and Ever slept, arms flapping, mouth open, head pressed agains the wall, next to me. Dakota came in and crawled on the little bed that is shoved up against the bigger bed and I actually got to tuck in my nineteen year old son and run my fingers through his beautiful blonde wavy hair as he fell asleep. The line of his nose as he slept crushed me. 
Dakota took Lola out for a second ' you are going to middle school ' pep talk, and Lola came home glowing. She adores her biggest big brother and his attention means much for her- her views on boys, men, her self worth and expectations of how boys should treat her, what expectations can you have of boys at all?-- all of this and of course at the bottomy bottom where the water plunks loudly once before swimming off to join the great lake, there is just the blossoming of being loved when you are young. You can shower a young person in love and literally watch them expand into a stronger, more vital and realized human being. It is incredible. It is heart breaking. I am having one of those weeks where every beautiful thing brings to my mind those suffering who cannot have this beautiful thing. I do not believe there is anything worse in this life, anything more poisonous or terrifying than feeling completely un-loved. I have done embarrassing, difficult, awkward and ill received things to leap over to someone- usually a child- who I can see feels un-loved, and let them know that there are people in this world who will love them. I think you can tell that to someone if you look at them the right way, with your heart in your face- you can tell that child, I love you simply because you are alive, and a human being, and I believe you have beautiful things inside of you. And then they can tuck that in their hand and then in their chest and then it can move quietly into their blood and break the blood/brain barrier and move into their dreams and then maybe they can believe that one day they will find someone to love and who loves them. I absolutely believe that this is true and I also believe that things like this happen more frequently and are more powerful than people are often comfortable believing. Magical realism! No. It is easier to think that, because otherwise, there is so much responsibility. 
When I fail myself and other people, when I am nasty and removed and distant in the face of pain, not only am I hurting myself and that person, I am also stealing my own joy. My joy in life is knowing the beauty of this world and knowing the great and triumphant possibilities of human beings. However it would be a lie to say that I do not receive great comfort from knowing the impossibility of perfection, in others and myself. Novels are the lightening rod for triumph and failure. I am in a period of rabid and passionate absorption of books. I just finished Charlie Wilson's War and began the last written Fire and Ice, and am excitedly waiting Marisha Pessl's new novel, coming out in a few days, Night Film.
Lola has her best friend over for one last summer sleepover. Tomorrow night is the first 'school night' and all will change. I have wanted to cry twice today as the realization that the sounds of happy laughter and shrieking and fighting will be gone as Lola and E. will be in middle school all day, and I will be here with Ever and little M.  Of course Ever and little M. will still laugh ( and fight ) but without the older girls the balance that I treasure is gone, and I am left as the only one who can talk about things other than bugs, bikes, Mickey Mouse and boob. This summer has been magical, not in a light, happy way, but a more profound, adult magic. The kind of magic that will give me reams of good writing, when I tap into it with just the right touch. When the light changes... 

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