I lie somewhere between slumber and awake and the muffled sounds of my heart ready themselves for the day in a chorus of shower water rushing and pulsing, belt buckles clicking, bristles through tangles, unintentional boot stomps, for they are simply well-made and heavy. I need those extra minutes, they think I'm sleeping. Shhh...mama's asleep. Instead I am listening to them, smiling, burrowing into the linen, the morning linen that is different than the night linen, warmed by our bodies overnight and the weight of it ideal. It is a phenomenon I question daily, how this happens, but the question is merely curiosity, I care not so much how it happens but that it does. I rise to give kisses and hugs and a million I love yous as they scurry and flutter out the door and then it's just me, the dog, and coffee. I've a new mug, this ideal little vessel with a thick, wide handle, tall and the clay was left thick and rich, perfect for my hand and lips to wrap around snugly. I don't know the maker, or how old it is, I just know it is perfect and from a friend and I love the ripples of the clay from the wheel and someone's hands, and the carefully chosen speckled glaze.
I've been writing. Little things, long things. Mostly for myself, and mostly ramblings. My house and my life strange and shifting, most surely there are other things I could and should be doing, but instead I find myself sitting at a makeshift desk, a free crate found on the side of the road. I am learning to play the cajon and it serves as my chair, I hunch over the keys and occasionally note I'm no longer twenty-one and straighten my back and pull my fingers from the widespread stance they assemble to form words on a screen and wrap my arms around my spine and reach for the opposite elbow. Then I tap a bit on the cajon, little bits of practice here and there because I've always wanted to learn and I'm not half bad at it.
The house is mostly empty now, and when I cleared it, there wasn't a lot, not nearly as much as it felt to be. It was bare in under an hour, and the only things I miss are the worn farm table and my rocker, and I will miss them until I one day have a place to put them again. Worth saving, those two things. Otherwise a small pile of things remains, a box of books and records, the brass candlesticks from my grandmother, woven baskets and found pieces of pottery, art and that wall hanging we found the weekend we got engaged, the one we bought for a dollar. Before I began to pack things away, I photographed the house as it was, wanting to remember it. The first house that wasn't a mishmash of hand-me-downs, but bits and bobs carefully chosen by both of us, a home that we both had a hand in. Then I gathered everything we loved most in one place and surveyed it, most of it found, much of it stones and branches, all of it meaningful, and admired that these things looked seamless together, as if it was purposeful but it wasn't at all.
It's funny that I'm writing now, the near-desperate urge to sit uncomfortably on the cajon, awkwardly bent, with no place for my legs to rest and the crate shakes with every stroke, when around me is disorder, a half-finished wood countertop in need of planing, drawers for a dresser in varied stages of white paint, heavy Irish linen laid out on the floor and a sewing machine plopped unceremoniously on a wooden stool. I read once that brilliantly creative people are often messy and I've scoffed at it as I straightened my workspace to just so, tightening up the lines of items on a sparsely populated desk. For years, I thought this was how I needed to create, in a perfectly aligned way, and in fact, nothing remotely good or often, even anything, came out of the perfection. A blank page or a trashed one, for I spent far more time arranging everything around me than actually making anything of substance, for I was too exhausted and spent. Yet here, I am writing daily, a ritual that has come about effortlessly, strangely and suddenly. A simple practice that arose without warning, it just is, as if the chaos and mess of my life pushed me into it and whispered, now.