Susan's Blog

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Choas, Cakes, Cossies, and Clarity

In the beginning, there was Chaos. A morass of ideas and hot air colliding and mixing in my brain. I guess I have had two very off years. Since the end of my book tour (beginning of 2006), I have felt kind of aimless. Sure, I’ve gotten things done, like learning bellydance, writing Dirt, some articles, essays, and of course, creating this blog (on paper and off). But I feel like I was doing those things haphazardly, in a whirlwind of activity and impulse. I think I was trying to escape painful things, some emotional and some professional.

But now — at the risk of giving myself a kinna hurra — I have been feeling a new sense of purpose and vision. Continuing with my incredible new ability to compartmentalize and focus on the one thing I really need to do at that given moment. I have been able to do my lesson plans ahead of time, my school newsletter, and lately, to write my book! Why does that always amaze me?

I am still accustomed to thinking of myself as a bubblehead, probably from years of not knowing what I was doing with myself other than raising children. I had always intended to have a Career, and that is what I always wanted, too. So I think I felt like a failure for all of the early childhood years. But in my late thirties and early forties, I have begun to have real evidence that I am not. Maybe I’m a little fizzy, or frizzy, but overall, that myth has been deconstructed. The bubble has popped. I have had some fine times mothering them. The best times where those moments when I really did what I wanted to do with the boyz, without worrying about if it was what you’re supposed to do or not. Like take them to the mall with me just to have them with me, strapped into strollers so that they couldn’t do any harm. So that I could have their company in an easy way (Max and Nat really tolerated my clothes shopping very well.) and not have to play kiddie games. Kiddie games were not my strong suit. To my deepest regret, I always felt a huge yawn growing in my throat whenever a child asked me to “Pway wif” him. Now of course my heart seizes when I think of that idiotic young me! Passing up a chance to play choo-choo (Max), or pretend something with Lego characters (Ben) or look in wonder at lined up Fischer Price dolls (Nat) ! Oh, my cute, cute, now-too-old Darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

But one thing I do do well (Hah, I said ‘doo-doo!’) is those kind of warm comfortable homey things like stuff that you make. I always liked Max’s Dr. Dreadful kits, where you could mix gelatin (which would be named “guts” or “bone mix”) with water and pour it into monster molds and get monster parts to eat. We also love baking special birthday cakes. And we love making costumes! Yesterday I spent a lot of time putting the finishing touches on Ben’s Kafei costume (I kept thinking, “Kafei Canum,” wondering how to make it into a joke). Ned and Ben did the Pikachu-like mask, and it is most awesome. Max’s hooded cape (his choice is to be Simon from Gurren Lagaan, who saved the universe and then just walked away, but lived among everyone in his hooded disguise) is also all done, and I also put together Nat’s Zorro costume for his House Halloween party, which was yesterday. (Nat always wants to be Zorro, so every year his costume must be adjusted. This year I made the mask myself, while DeAnnie, a staffer at the House drew on the dashing mustache.)

Thanks to my new clarity, the book is really taking shape. I now have a decent Prologue and first chapter, as well as the fourth and fifth chapters done. I had to do the fourth and fifth for my proposal, so they’ve been kind of done for a while. But having finished the first chapter is a real milestone because it must take you through the beginning, the thesis, the first examples, and also set up the structure and content of the book. The Prologue is important in that it grabs the reader, pulls him in, and then reveals for the first time, in one poignant and brief portrait, the book’s heart.

So it’s like all I want to do is my work: making stuff with my kids, teaching my other kids, and making my book. It also feels like play.

It is as if my muse/psyche/God has finally said, “Let there be light.”

And I see that it is Good.

1 comment

You are extremely crafty, and we’ve seen your theme cakes too!

Failure my a$$!

— added by Someone Said on Sunday, October 5, 2008 at 9:00 pm