Toward Light


7:00 a.m. The toddler and her dad are beach bound with the push-along trike. I’ve scrubbed the cat vomit from the carpet. And the coffee is still hot. Oh to drink hot coffee, uninterrupted, while I type.

Time is limited, the day will be busy, but already I am distracted looking at the dollhouse. It’s safe to say, I’m excited. I showed my mom pictures of it yesterday, and she said, “Who are you kidding? This dollhouse is for you!” Well, maybe it’s for us. Like the Erens’ quote from yesterday, children bringing back pieces of the past. I have looked at many, many dollhouses. From an adult perspective, I’m thinking about styles that best facilitate imaginative play. But I’m also very much able to see it all with my child’s eye. Which would I have enjoyed the most? Which would allow the most room for my sister and I to play together and separately? Which doors and windows are big enough to go in and out? And here, the little nursery set of my childhood dreams. I’m thinking of the miniatures we will collect. Or perhaps we will make some ourselves. We could carve a tiny Christmas tree, make little papier-mâché pumpkins, a minuscule birthday cake, the smallest paper chain you’ve ever seen.

The dollhouse isn’t just a connection to the deep past, a fossil that I carry in my body. It is an ever-present part of me. It is me. The one who imagines. The one whispering her stories for hours in a quiet room. This is the uninterrupted time I seek; to follow my imagination, down the quiet corridors and into a bright field. To argument and celebration, death and joy and hushed conversations, birthdays and friendships and betrayals, the skinned knee, the chipped tooth, the race won, the hill we rolled down, smell of sweet grass, eyes shut tight, body bumping the earth until we hit bottom and split open with laughter.

And you stop caring so much if what you wrote was good or thoughtful or sublime. You make art because you have to. Because no one can take it away from you. Because your worst critic is you. Because your thoughts move into darkness, but you write toward the light, always toward the light. Because as much as you know you can not capture the moments as they fly, you will forever try to contain them.

 “When it comes to the world, I want to know it, touch it, taste it, and indefinitely hold it.” – Gary Shteyngart

(Post 222 of 365)

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