My previous entry was a plea for help disguised as a blog post. Fellow writers, I asked, what do you do when you find yourself uninspired? How do you get your writing mojo back?
Over the last few months, I’ve started to compile an ever-growing list of essay and article ideas. About my kids. About travel. About people I’d like to interview. It’s not a long list, but it’s an eclectic one and one I’m usually excited about.
They had wiped their plates clean. All that remained were some stray vegetables and small bones.
“Did you like the meat, girls?” Papa asked. They nodded their assent. In the seconds that followed, I looked up at my husband and attempted to use our finely tuned marital ESP to convey a warning to him. “Do not say anything more on the subject,” I said with my eyes.
I was a young teenager from suburban New Jersey when I first discovered David Bowie. I was a conventional kid – followed the rules, did my work, behaved…I didn’t really have an ounce of rebellion in me. But when I listened to his raspy, chameleon-like voice sing lyrics that seemed to speak only to me, I’d become someone else for the length of a song. A girl on the cusp of womanhood who didn’t care what others thought of her, who dared to be different, who could actually hold a tune. Bowie was my rebellion.
Sleep-deprived Sophie, who stayed up late on December 31 to ring in 2016 with her friend, crankily proclaimed on New Year’s Day that “Today is just another day.”
She’s not wrong. January 1 doesn’t really have anything going for it, other than its pole position as the first day of the Gregorian calendar year.
Which got me thinking. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to wake up every January 1 and realize that a single aspect of your life had magically changed for the better? Screw new year’s resolutions. They require thought, intent and effort. Why isn’t there the equivalent of a fairy godmother for New Year’s Day?
“Bye, Sophie!” yelled Papa as we were leaving for the bus stop yesterday.
After a brief pause, our 10-year old suddenly turned around and ran to her father, who was standing in the vestibule waving to her. She hugged him so tightly around his midriff that she squeezed a grin right out of him.
I’m trying hard to get into the holiday spirit. I truly am. But the world is making it difficult to feel joyful these days. Shameless politicians spewing hate and intolerance and ignorance. People killing other people for sport. Heartbreaking refugee crises. Climate change. The continued assault against women’s reproductive rights and sensible gun control legislation. Racism and all the other -isms that have festered just below the surface for so long but are now oozing out in the open, no thanks to those damn politicians whose words and deeds are making such -isms an acceptable part of everyday discourse.
As I watched the horrific November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris unfold from the safety and comfort of my home thousands of miles away across the vast Atlantic Ocean, I was overtaken by a profound sense of shock, sadness and loss.
Although we quickly received confirmation that our family was safe, we found out that my brother-in-law and youngest nephew, who is Chloe’s age, were in the audience watching the soccer match between France and Germany at the Stade de France that night. They were oblivious to what was happening outside the stadium gates until after the game was over. It took them much longer than usual to get home, but they did make it home a few hours later, unlike the 130 people who died and scores of others who were wounded in the attacks.
Hello, my friends! It’s been a long time. I’m sure you’ve all been sitting on pins and needles dying to know how I’ve been spending my busy days.
In the months since I last filled you in on my adventures, I’ve had an epiphany that’s changed the way I view my place in the world.
Wait for it…
I am a living, breathing, barking primer on how to embrace the seven deadly sins and thrive.
“Mom, what do women Inuits do?” Sophie had started to think about her first big social studies project of the year. The other morning, she and I began to consult websites and bookmarked a few pages that, at quick glance, seemed to offer at least a modicum of useful facts. Not dissertation-worthy, mind you, but sufficient for a 5th grader’s one-page paper. When we finished, it was almost time for her to catch the bus to school.