Thursday, November 08, 2007

I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up

Early this morning, in the faint dawn light, I heard Maria running to the playroom, followed by a Fwump! Of course my camera was handy, and since she was already cheerfully announcing, "I'm Okay. I'm Okay..." it seemed like a good time to take a photograph. So, there she is, swallowed-up by Alex's empty and wide open school bag.

I admire her resilience.

I have a touch of post funeral melancholy.

Suppressed memories, strong emotions, conflicts, grief, sympathy... it's all swirling around in my head and my heart. I am struck by how much of memory can be a blur, like a photograph out of focus, or a movie with sound that comes in and goes out... Yet with the slightest urging, or the prompting of a melody or a picture, the sound of someone's laughter, a fragrance... any little thing can bring back a full, vivid recollection of entire events, conversations, feelings. Our stories matter, I believe. The connections we have with community and family, the church our grandmothers attended, the park where families we knew picnicked and played; our traditions and relations are such a rich and complex fabric. I am not trying to make point. Just thinking out loud.

Max is still coughing... even the cat has been sick... cleaning his fur, he ingested junk that has made him barf a lot. The vet says it's fire related. He seems to be improving. (The cat has been to the doctor, the boy has not. I wish our vet were a pediatrician; I have more confidence in him.) We really have not finished cleaning all of the fire fall out. I miss my family, and I worry about my brother. Geoff's dying vehicle is effectively dead. I took him to work today. We all miss Tamsyn. The demands and expectations of school life wore me out last month and anticipating upcoming events makes me less than eager to meet the holidays.

Holidays and home life are just too sacred to relinquish, so I contemplate home-schooling again, which I would love, which makes me ponder: What else would I love? And then I know I want to go a on a big, family road trip and rediscover our voices, and read whole passages of great books aloud, and sit beside creeks and watch leaves fall. I want to watch Alex build robots and draw gnomes, and listen to William describe "Spore" and finish teaching him how to drive, somewhere where people are kind, even in their cars. I want to go on long, pointless walks with my husband, and watch some movies with him, then design a house that we will actually build, then live in. I want to dance with Maria and play with dough and paint and glue, and take her to a warm ocean and let her learn how to swim. I want to read with Max, all of his "-Ology" books, and then I want to show him that he could make a wonderful book too... on any subject, and it could be full of his ideas and thoughts. And it cheers me to realize that my children and my husband are such a source of joy for me... consoling, and encouraging.


nikkipolani said...

You have wonderful dreams, Natalie. I hoep all of them come true one way or another.

Andylynne said...

I agree with Nikkipolani, you do have wonderful dreams. You inspire me to dream & make the dreams of others come true.

Lesley said...

Sounds to me like you're dreaming of Australia! Forgot to tell you how impressive Alex's drawings are. Now that's talent.

Anna Banana said...

Our stories are important because we are our stories. Without our stories we would have no personality, no desire, no hope, no jokes. Keep telling us your stories!!

Julie said...

Oh good, grab the camera then find out if everyone is OK after hearing a Fwump! Good mommy! Hey wait, I do that too.

That is a beautiful post-funeral photo. It shows that life does go on and kids sometimes help us see that.

I've always want to take a summer sabbatical and travel. Just us learning about each other while we learn about the places we visit. Someday, maybe.

Tarie said...

I hope you're not having technical blog problems anymore. Were you able to get my comments for earlier posts?

My reaction/comment to this post is simply one great big *HUG*. :)