Current mood: crappy
And to those of you who think "OH, she's sooooo luckeeee" (because I am, you know, she said nodding solemnly) let me just tell you how it got that way.
Monday, July 25, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011
I had an epiphany this last Christmas, about singing. I love to sing, and I can carry a tune well enough... not that anyone will ever hear me. I'm what you call a shy singer, meaning no one gets the performance except the van, the shower, the large group of people singing all at once; you get the drift. I was in choir in school, took singing lessons and have even been in a church choir or two - I really, really enjoy it. With all that experience, I'm fairly well grounded in what kind of voice I have. I'm a soprano, and when necessary, can do a mean imitation of a second soprano. First and foremost, tho, I'm a soprano. Yes, even for Handel's Messiah. Missy = soprano.
So it was with a certain amount of surprise that I realized I was singing alto this winter when I sang Christmas carols. How, in all my years of singing soprano, would I slip into an alto? Then, in a flash, my epiphany. I remembered snuggling with my mother, my head on her chest, absorbing the comfort of her alto voice resonating in her chest. It became clear to me that that was where I had learned the Christmas carols, nestled in my mother's arms as a child, and I echoed her voice, rather than my own.
That echoing of our parents' voices is something that happens to all parents at one time or another, I'd imagine. Ask anyone who has a child over the age of five, and it's a good bet that the words "I sounded just like my mother (or father) just then.... I swore I'd never say that!" have been uttered at some point. It was nice to have it be such a positive memory, a connection even, to sound like my mother.
This afternoon I was comforting my Maddie. She's sick today, listless and glassy-eyed. It seems a temperature of 103 has a way of making the most energetic little three year old girl stop in her tracks, and Maddie is no exception. Also like most three year olds, she sought comfort in her mother's arms. With her head nestled against my chest, I sang to my newest musical craving, Joshua Radin's album "We Were Here." The song I just can't get enough of, "Winter" came on, and I started singing the harmony along with it. I hit the repeat button on my stereo's remote to hear it just one more time. Suddenly, I wasn't able to sing for a bit, my heart in my throat. It was at that point that I noticed a soft, sweet voice rising from the little girl in my arms... singing harmony, just like her momma.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Funny thing about epiphanies - they happen when you least expect them. My most recent one was here, on vacation in Chicago. We have rented an apartment for the week, and it’s amazing. The three bedroom, two and a half bathroom apartment has a fabulous view of downtown and the lake and is right next to Grant Park. We’re in walking distance to...well, everything! The decorations are minimalist and refreshing, speaking as someone who has been living in a much-too-small-home for the last couple years. By minimalist, I mean... there’s really nothing. In the master bedroom, there are two framed pieces of woven bamboo and one red clock. One.red.clock.
The night we arrived, I noticed that the time was off on the clock in my room. I took it down, set it to the right time (3 am) and hung it back up. I figured the next morning I would know if I had fixed it or if it was just needing a new battery.
The next day Max said something about not knowing what time it was since the clock in my room said it was 3. I told him it was a dead battery and not to worry about it. Then a funny thing happened... I realized I heard the tick, tick, tick of the clock on the wall. Weird. Upon further examination, I realized it wasn’t a dead battery, it was a stuck clock.
The second hand just keeps going... and getting nowhere. Nowhere! From the sound of it, the clock is functioning just fine. Look at the clock for a moment and you think it’s in working order. A casual glance won’t really tell you that the clock is not fine. Not fine. Not in working order. Working on the surface, but a mess inside. Spinning in it’s tracks.
The red clock is stuck in time. Then, the epiphany...stuck in time... just like me. This is the place I have found myself in for the last few months. Time’s gone on, things have changed, and as the weeks and months have passed I feel like nothing.has.changed. Without getting into the personal details too much, I’ve been waiting for time to heal the pain... for the passing of time to magically take me to a place of peace and acceptance... to finally be in a place where I don’t live in the what ifs and the regrets of things said or not said - constantly wondering about what might have been. I’m a stuck clock.
Let me tell you, it hasn’t been fun at all. I haven’t been “happy.” I haven’t been “ok.” In Alison Krauss’ song “Paper Airplane” she sings a line that makes so much sense to me: “How many days should I smile with a frown?” How long do I have to hide the sadness, the discontent, the longing that’s been in my heart? How long do I have to wait...
I have spent so much of the last seven years of my life waiting. Waiting for the divorce to be final. Waiting for the court stuff to be over. Waiting for the next job. Waiting for the right guy to come in to my life. Waiting...waiting...waiting. The whole time, I’ve been wanting things - wanting to move, wanting to start my writing full-force, wanting to do what I want to do. At the end of the day, I’ve come to a place of feeling horribly, terribly, painfully... trapped. Please don’t read this and think “She’s a terrible mom - she wishes she didn’t have her kids.” That’s not the case at all, my kids are my life. That being said, I’m tired of everything in my life being dictated by the restrictions placed on me because I have kids. I’ve come to understand that part of being a good mom is showing my kids what it takes to be a happy, healthy adult. There’s a fine line between doing something selfish and doing something that’s better for everyone, whether they know it at the time or not.
I don’t know what I’ll do. I don’t know what changes will be necessary to unstick my clock. What I do know, what I have to know... is it will happen. It might be a small change, it might be a big one. Whatever it is, you can rest assured I’ll be sharing it here... and if you miss the blog, just listen for the tick, tick, tick coming from my unstuck heart.