Monday, March 23, 2009

I need to laugh more.

This revelation follows no particular epiphany. But rather as I was just sitting here, flossing my teeth at 2 p.m. on a Monday afternoon.

If it is not a practice you enjoy, the flossing of ones teeth can become a deeply contemplative experience. I mean, you really have to PAY ATTENTION to what you are doing when you floss, otherwise all that effort is moot. And lets be honest, if you are going to take the time to actually buy at the store ( and not use that one mini sample you got at your last cleaning when you lied about flossing daily), get out and use the floss - you might was well do it right.

The flossing session followed my inexplicable desire to sharpen all the pencils in the house. Grabbing my x-acto pencil sharpener, I gathered all the pencils I could find and sat on the bed - sharpening one after the other. I fished out all the stubby broken pencils and gave them new leases on life with fresh new points. I sorted all of Emilys colored pencils back into their holder - the newly refreshed tips all pointing in the same direction. Terrance came home to me, covered with colored pencil shavings dust, sorting out crayons from markers from twistables from fine line markers from craypas.

I do this occasionally. This overwhelming urge to put things Right in the house, with particular focus on Em. It is a strange cross of maternal instinct and teacher training. If she has all the materials, and they are in their place and ready for use... well then, it proves I am a good Mom. A Capable Mom. A Mom who provides sharpened colored pencils at a moments notice.

I am trying to notice when these internal nesting urges spring forth - they may have to do with my going inside myself to produce something else. There are conferences coming, and I have finally been coaxed to go forth and present myself to others as a Researcher. This is an oddly important step for me, the perpetual know-it-all. Placing myself out in front of the other professionals in my field and asking for acceptance and acknowledgement is difficult, as part of my internal identity as been as an "outsider". My fears of never knowing enough to be an "expert" in my field also roll into play here. My supervisor jokes with me that I probably know as much about Vygotsky as anyone in the world, and yet I get choked up when I have to articulate his theories. Me, the unstoppable talker - completely unable to speak.

And my grandmother. And My mother, and my Aunt and Me and Emily. This line of women have occupied a sizable space in my brain as I puzzle out my grandmothers death, and my place along this continuum of females. The bullet train of Emily's puberty is aiming straight at me as I struggle to remain a granddaughter. The baby. The pumpkin, the best beloved. My grandmothers death makes me feel Old - moreso than the deaths of my fathers parents. My ability to mentally distance myself from that side of the family had also extended to the whole of the Ohio Valley. If I didn't return, then I never changed. A Lost Boy of one.

I finish flossing and throw the floss away. I drink from the coffee I got this morning, but which I never finish until the afternoon. I lay down in the afternoon sunshine, my rabbit standing guard next to my bed. I pull my quilt up close around my face and smile in the sunshine as I build up my energy for Emily's homecoming.

1 Baleful Regards:

E. said...

Ah, what deep thoughts good oral hygiene can lead to. They say that zen practice can take the form of walking, writing, etc. etc. How about flossing?

So, I've always been fascinated by Vygotsky, but I've never had the time to explore. How about a Vygotsky in 500 words or fewer post for those of us who want to know more? (I'm assuming many of your other readers are as geeky as me...)

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