Thanks to Gutbloom, I saw this 10 Things game. I could use a writing prompt. The trouble is, I’ve written so much about myself here, there’s too much information already. I’ve written about my menopause, my kids, my house, and my husband. I’ve opined about tennis, cruises, Halloween, and Christmas. Lots of raving about politics and yoga and Tom Waits. Personal essay is my jam and if you click on any of those links, you’ll know more than 10 things about me. And, inescapably, the four things in that image above are sort of the crux of the biscuit. As much as I don’t want to be defined by my kids, there they are.
Here are 10 things, possibly new, probably boring, definitely me.
- I talk a lot. Everyone who loves me would say “too much” — some of them have been bold enough (or rude enough) to point it out. My sixth grade teacher told me that I had “diarrhea of the mouth.” A member of my first book club quit, citing my verbosity as one of the reasons. (She also talked about her yoni all the time and lectured me about bringing my peanut noodles in a yogurt container — apparently, my recycled plastic wasn’t environmental enough for her. We didn’t miss her.) My husband and kids have all developed individual expressions to convey, “please stop” or “shut up,” depending. My kids are all horrible interrupters and when my daughter, the baby, was little she would preface everything with, “Can I say something?” Loudly. I have a lot to say. I think out loud. I solve problems by talking about them and sometimes completely change my mind out loud. It’s a ride. Conversely, I can be very shy and if we were all in a room together, I’d be silent on the fringe, near a door. Maybe a little dizzy. Until the thing warmed up, and then see above. I’d say something loopy and worry for days.
- About a decade ago, I experienced such profound unspecified anxiety that I could barely get my mail. It lasted for many months and was terrifying. It’s basically gone now, but I’m haunted. I still don’t really understand it.
- I really want to write about food, but I never do. Food is the glue, the salve, the soundtrack to the symphony of life. But see how bad that is? Oh my god, why can’t I write about food? It’s the best best thing and I want to be M.F.K. Fisher, Poet of the Appetites.
- I play the piano (or I did in another life) and was in a band for a minute. I was 15 and they were all adult-like. I chickened out when they asked me to sing harmony on “Dog and Butterfly.” It was hard enough to be seen — nobody told me I’d need to sing.
- I thought I was a dog person, but a cat has adopted me and she is everything. The dogs are ridiculous.
- I suspect it’s common, but I don’t have one name for pets. Or children. As you can see above, Mama is many things (and she is Mama because she appeared in our barn with two babies — they are together in a happy home, and she is ours). Evie is Tinkerbell, Biscuit is Charles. Jesse is Henry, Max is Bodenheim, Lily is Millicent, and Eli is Lou. Or Luna. Or Mr. McLuhan. I’m surprised we haven’t faced a multiple personality situation.
- A mother is only as happy as her least happy child. I’m not happy. That’s all I’ll say about that.
- I am consumed with rage and fear and sadness at the daily news cycle. I probably pay way too much attention, but these are troubled times that warrant witnessing! As a woman, I am exhausted to my core by the suddenly very public pattern of harrasment and abuse (as if this hasn’t been our reality FOREVER). It is, I believe, a healthy exposure of long buried poison — let’s get all the shit up and out, for sure! But it’s exhausting. We, the ladies, are stuck in this toxic hamster wheel of defending and explaining, again and again. Also, it’s a particularly embarrassing time to be an American. There doesn’t seem to be a bottom.
- I spent a month in Greece once, with the wrong person and at the wrong time. I’d love to go back.
- I pray, but I don’t believe in God. Faith is such a sticky thing, I’ve tried to write about it. I want to believe in something greater, something magic, something with the power to fix it, explain it, wrap it all up in a tidy package and put a bow on it for me. I want that. But I haven’t found it. Or it hasn’t found me. I pray, though, just in case. Does prayer work without faith? And what if I have faith, but not in God? Or a god? Or gods? Can’t I just have an open heart and position my lucky cat correctly and look at the moon? Can’t I chat with my long dead ancestors and marvel at the wonder of the world? I do have a thing for ancient texts, sacred music, and holy spaces. Does any of that count? Gutbloom, I’m with you on the “elusive and ever changing” part. Faith is one of the Big Questions — has anyone really figured it out?
I miss the social Medium. Nice to see people out and about.