ALCHEMY OF WORDS
ALCHEMY OF WORDS
how to navigate an inversion
His brain didn't feel up to the task of thinking. Or even staying awake, really.
A blanket of low-lying clouds drifted over the horizon of his mind and now lay still and peaceful on the landscape there, as if they were napping, with no hint of a breeze to carrying them along their journey. The clouds made him tired. Even though he'd slept for maybe 7 hours the night before. He still wanted a nap. Or maybe two days of sleep. He couldn't tell. If he could walk out of the clouds, he would.
But wherever he went, the clouds came with him. Like they were on a string attached to his waist.
Sometimes when there is an inversion, you just have to wait it out. Do the best you can until the wind comes along and frees you from the doldrums.
It would be nice if he could just lay down. But he can't. It is only 9:30 am. He has work to do. And words to write. And other adulting stuff waiting for him to grow up enough to see to it. And then later there will be more parenting to do. Even though he is totally not qualified for that. But nobody ever asked to see his resume before he took the job.
And at least every other parent he talks to seems to have the same kind of imposter syndrome. So he just does the best he can. And tries to remember not to yell too much. And to not to place his own worries and ambivalence and disappointment about the world on the child. He will have his own things to carry, after all. And maybe the best anyone can do is to show that is it possible to put those things down and just walk away from them. And maybe the child can learn to do it much sooner than he did.
Even now, there are still bags balanced upon there on his shoulders, despite all this talk. Because -- and you've probably figured this out by now -- a lot of the time life is nothing like you thought it would be. Until those sometimes when it is far better than you ever imagined. It is important to remember that. Even when there are low-lying clouds in your way.
He knows if he can possibly slow down, it helps. Just try to take everything as it comes. Even when nothing is coming. To do his best to take that, too.
It helps to remember that you are part of everything and everything is part of you. And so there is really no place to get to. And nothing to get. It is just reaching inside and pulling out whatever is needed. Even if there are low-lying clouds covering almost everything.
There is still the quiet gurgle of the stream, the feel of grass under feet, the cool of air as he fills his lungs, over and over and over, thousands of times a day. And the way, even if the clouds are there, if he can slow down, he can still put thoughts together, pin words on the page.
Sometimes it seems like maybe it was the words that made the fog to begin with. Or that the fog is made of words. Like he had been forgetting about them, and so they started to stack up, causing a word jam that, as it grew, started to look just like a small cloud. And the more he neglected the words, the more the clouds grew, until they covered the valley floor.
And all he needed to do to clear the path was to start pulling the words down and pasting them to the pages. Over and over and over, thousands of times a day.
Be well. Take care of yourselves. Check in on each other.