Writers can’t have clean houses

Writers can’t have clean houses.

I am alone; the good kind. I am never alone, alone. I’m only alone in a crowd, alone. A large place with booming people, a family of six, a room full of women talking about shoes. I like my shoes. A lot. I don’t like trying to fill their shoes. I don’t always like tying little people’s shoes.

But here is it quiet. A quiet that a homeschooling mother never has. A quiet I get in little bursts–like a teaser. A quiet I know exists, but is never really mine for the taking. It’s not lonely in this quiet. I am full, excited, happy to meet myself again after so long.

Writers can’t have clean houses.

They can’t do chores. Wash clothing, dishes, and little bottoms. They can’t maker dinners unless there is wine and elaborate sauces. They can’t change diapers, unless they’re cloth. They can’t take out trash, unless it’s figurative. They can’t hold conversations that aren’t written down. They can’t kiss boo-boos or make up nursery rhymes that are immediately forgotten. Writers can’t live in the moment, look into their kids eyes (unless they are asleep), or be expected to pay bills.

Mothers can’t spend time alone, in reflection. They can’t just sneak away to coffeehouses as eight hours whizzes by before they realized that haven’t even eaten. They don’t sit down with a book in the middle of the day just because. They don’t write down quotes or flashes of characters on scraps of paper buried in their purse underneath diapers and extra baby clothes. Mothers can’t spend three hours every evening meditating, walking and writing.

But here, by myself, in this quiet I am neither and both. I am, for one moment, just me. No labels. No expectations. No fight for freedom nor balance. I am nothing and everything I want to be.

I only really exist in the times between.

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