I saw the simple, perfect one word prompt for the Crazy Hip Blog Mamas Carnival this week, and I felt some small thing in me come uncurled:
It defines the whole of my existence lately. Aching inside for things to change and grow, to expand out of this cramped, folded state of being and stretch out to encompass all of my potential. I'm filled with wanting and dreaming and striving, but I'm so fuzzy on the details. The destination obsesses me- long lists in my mind of problems and obstacles and faults to be fixed. The focus is always on what I think I'm lacking. What seems like the futility of trying to change.
Then, "striving." A quiet little reminder to write, with a huge important message for me. Toward what am I striving? What is the essence of my need in this life I have now around me and within me? The swirling muddied worries in my mind- where are they leading me?
I thought of the advice that stays with me more than anything else I heard from my professsors at school. The delicately quiet, beautiful Norwegian art history professor said: "Simple people need complicated lives. Complicated people need simple lives." That's been in my mind waiting for me to make something of it for nearly ten years. That's what I want, crave, strive to achieve: a simple existence.
I want to live as a creature of good, sturdy habit and real holistic pleasures. I want the comfort of routine: Wake with the sun, a small cup of tea warming my hand. A sleepy waking child in cotton pajamas (and diaper.) Work carefully and skillfully on creative production. Play with the baby. Shop for juicy cantaloupes and deep green broccoli. Make a wonderful meal and eat it slowly at a table with my small family. Clean the home nest. Read to the soft, yawing baby girl. Nurse her and tuck her into bed. Tidy up what's left of the day's tasks and have time with my husband. Surrender to sleep at a decent hour ready to rise again.
This idyllic fantasy is, of course, not going to be perfect. That's not the point. It's the simplicity and the loose routine to frame my days that I want. I know there will be tantrums to contend with and mad deadlines and late nights... but I want to strive for it. I want the journey to be its own reward, for the striving itself to be a pleasure. I want to find little ways to improve, little by little like unravelling a knot a bit at a time, patiently.