Olive is three, and lately our interactions have had an odd vibe to them, one I couldn’t put my finger on until after an exchange we had yesterday at the library.
This is one of the things I have hanging above my desk – this and a list of 50 things my little sister loves about me, a baby picture of Olive, an eagle feather ( because of course an eagle feather), and a whole host of other assorted beautiful bits and pieces.
It’s a quote that hits home for a writer who writes like I do.
It’s embarrassing, sometimes, feeling like I’m writing a journal for the world to read. Every six months or so I have a crisis where I gnash my teeth and rend my garments and wail at the heavens and wonder what the hell is wrong with me, that I feel this need. This desire to dig into the most vulnerable parts, to poke them and then to bring them kicking and screaming into the light to show you.
Hemingway and I are just about as different as two writers can be – in quality and calibre and the fact that he can say in five words what it would take me five paragraphs to finally circle around to – but we are on the same page with this one.
I have been feeling antsy and off-kilter for the last few weeks. For the longest time, I couldn’t figure out the reason behind this dark, swirling feeling. It just sort of prowled around the edges of my day, tinting everything a shade darker.
I started sleeping less – going to bed late, as I usually do but waking up eerily early, sweaty, heart racing and unable to get back to sleep. I’d lie there, listening to Olive breathe and I’d try to match the pace of her breaths. In and out. In and out. Until it was time to get up.
I started thinking I was in a rut, a funk. I cleaned out my house, donated clothing, organized my cupboards, wrote letters, rearranged furniture. I started thinking maybe I needed a new lipstick, a different coat. I felt unsettled and uncomfortable in my own skin. Itchy. Restless.
If you’re not a parent you might not be aware that there is a debate being waged lately around -of all topics- Halloween candy.
There seems to be two distinct camps, one favours a candy-less Halloween, using approaches like the Switch Witch, who comes to visit children’s homes after trick or treating and takes their candy in exchange for a gift (or something? I am not up to date on the entire Switch Witch mythology, for me it falls into the same bewildering category of parenting as the Elf on the Shelf) .
The other camp is made up of parents imploring the candy police to just back off and let their kids have some fun. It’s one night! Who cares!