I travel with lofty intentions: on this trip I will get more pages written than at home. Yeah, right. I get less done, often times zilch. Just how much can I do and see in this new place? A mania of possibilities and too much activity locks me up. This trip is different.
Em and I are on our last family visit of the summer. I am here with no agenda, no expectations of what we will do or see. We are here to get out of our house so Em can play with her cousins, including Sarah (2 months) who she is meeting for the first time. I am here to be present and sit with any stuff that being with family kicks up. I used to be in denial about the effect my family has on me, but this summer’s anxiety attack stripped the shiny veneer right off of that façade. I am here, wired and tired as usual, but listening, not trying to fix anything except occasionally refereeing the girls as they share toys. And I am loving my Em, who is still too young to understand her own emotions and alternates between giddy and not listening, shrieking in delight with her cousin and tossing off a ‘tude because her French braid (like Elsa’s in Frozen, ugh) is falling out .
I am present. And, I am writing, because I want to and because I need to. Stephen King says it best:
“Life isn’t a support-system for art. It’s the other way around.” (On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft)