Monday, August 22, 2011

Equations

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My birthday celebration at our condo last week. We discovered moments before this that candles had apparently not made the "move" list. It was the first birthday celebrated at our house, after all.

If I were to create an equation for the presence of writing in my life, it might look something like this:

Job + Coaching + Curtis = Little time for writing.

My life has gradually been filled to bursting these past three weeks, first with the start of a new season, then with the addition of the school year, and finally with Curtis’s return home. It hasn’t been a seamless transition—there always seem to be aches with growing to absorb a change, even when it’s one I have weathered countless times before—but generally these are all changes I welcome with open arms. I love my work with students, both in the classroom and in athletics, and I love having Curtis back at home—even if that means that my systems and organization are disrupted, the laundry piles up twice as fast, and the food seems to be perpetually eaten.

Consequently, I haven’t had much time to sit and think. Sometimes I lie awake in the night, listening to quiet, trying to process the day: What was that student’s name? What could that athlete have done differently? Why did it bother me so much to see Curtis’s travel toiletries out for a week following his return?

Writing has become a necessary processing of life for me, if not in this venue, in an unpublished document stored safely away on my computer hard drive. I think more clearly and value the details of life more fully when I sit and enumerate my experiences on paper, often planning hours in advance for a window of writing that might possibly present itself—only to find it slip away at the mercy of a bathroom needing to be cleaned or dinner that has yet to be made.

I suppose it is nothing surprising to see optional life activities sacrificed at the alter of necessity, and yet this optional life activity of writing has become necessity—even with all the other loves I compress into my limited twenty-four hours.

Yes, the school year has started. I hope in its midst that I can hold onto slivers of contemplative rest, left over from a quiet summer. After all, I often feel that the opposite of the above equation leaves me in an even more dissatisfying lurch:

No job + No activities + No company = Nothing to write about anyway.

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