There are things I won’t write about here. Stories that aren’t only mine to tell. Certain intimacies and emotions. I won’t disclose my kids’ names. Or Sweetie’s. It feels limiting sometimes, these decisions I’ve made, even though they still feel like the right decisions for me and my family.
Lately, I’ve kind of thrown myself back into the blogging world. I was floundering for a while. Not just here, but in general. I didn’t know my place. I couldn’t embrace it because I couldn’t identify it. But things seem to be coming together. Or at least it feels that way. I was invited to join an amazing community of writers. Project: Underblog is so much more than I ever could have imagined when, on a whim after seeing a tweet, I submitted a rapidly written email outlining why I thought I’d be a good fit for the community. And community it is. Wow. My fellow underbloggers and our happy little online home have made me feel more a part of the larger blogosphere. But not just of bloggers. Writers, too. And other women. Women with big ideas. Women similar to me. Women I don’t think I’d ever have connected with if we weren’t a part of this same group.
I’ve started reading blogs again, too. Old favorites more regularly. New ones (to me) more happily. I don’t feel so bogged down by the enormity of it all. I feel like, well, like there’s a reason for it. Like we’re here making this space our own. Here to share and support each other. Here to be better at writing, mothering, loving, living.
There are things I won’t write about here. But then there’s this: I am standing at the kitchen sink, quite literally forearm deep in hot, soapy water. Washing the dozens of mini, reusable snack containers we use in packing lunches around here. Everyone is at school. My computer is restarting, awaiting me to sit down and send a complicated email for work. I look out the window and see the quiet street in front of my house. A robin poking in the grass. Some neighborhood boy’s discarded green T-shirt on my front lawn. I hear the sound of the washing machine below me. I smell the Dawn dish detergent and the Murphy’s Oil Soap, too, which I use to clean the dining room table before I sit down to work. It all seems so dull, these details of my Wednesday mornings.
But then, I pause. Quite literally, brushing hair from my eyes with a wet, yellow-gloved hand. I turn my head just a bit and I see blossoms on the rhododendron. I see more coffee in the coffeepot. I see an uncluttered chair across from me. I see the back door open, and the grass freshly mowed, and my daughter’s leotard and tights on the clothesline.
They’re not dull at all, these details. This is life. Rich and full. Messy and clean. I can’t always write here about what’s deep inside me. But because of that I tend to focus more on what I can see. What’s right in front of me. It’s because I won’t divulge deep emotional intricacies here that I’m able to give time to the simple pleasures of life in all of their tiny details.
It’s made me a better writer, this place. Just being here. And finding things to write about beyond what I’d write if no one was reading. I hope it’s made me a better woman, too. Partner, mother, friend, daughter. I hope even sister, too. We started this place together, Sarah and I. And life has continued and changed, and now it’s not quite the same. The blog. The sisterhood. Life in general. And I’ve been kind of silently fighting against that. But I want to be here. In this place that we created together and where I can feel comfortable if I’ll just let myself. Every time I open up a blank new post, I’m surprised at what comes. And that’s reason enough for coming back to the details, again and again.
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