If I Had the Clarity of Mind
Last night my husband asked me why I post every day.
"Why write some obligatory blog post every night before bed, when you could take your time and write something better? Or get more sleep?"
I didn't have a good answer for him. But I've been thinking about it all day. I write a blog post every day because it makes me feel good to set a goal and follow through with it. I do it because it forces me to write out of sheer obligation Because it forces me to document parts of my life I wouldn't have documented otherwise. Because it forces me to, as Sarah put it, not be too precious about the whole thing.
It's just words on a blog, after all. I'm not even wasting trees, for heaven's sake.
His question wouldn't have bothered me if I wasn't already questioning my commitment to write. I don't have headspace to cultivate deep thoughts lately. Nothing I write feels worthy of public consumption. I'm so tangled up in daily minutiae and domestic obligations that I have no room left for anything else. My mind is a cluttered countertop, each item competing for space.
I was sitting on a lawn chair on the driveway yesterday while the toddler played in the melting snow. He was trying to keep his composure but his bad mood kept slipping through. He'd try to write a letter, for example, but forget its shape and throw the chalk down with a screech and some stamping of the feet.
I marveled at the intimacy of these tiny eruptions. I thought of scraps of threadbare fabric, pieced together but coming apart at the seams. I thought: This is something I could capture with the perfect metaphor or analogy, if only I had the clarity of mind.
"I want to be grumpy," the toddler said later. "I want to be grumpy all day but you guys keep making me happy."
I know the feeling.