Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Her Mind Moves upon Silence (Memory Box)

Over the last few weeks I’ve neither spun nor toiled but moved slowly and lazed. ‘Real life’ is about to begin again (damn it) but these last weeks have given me a lot of thinking time.
And one of the things I’ve been thinking about is what I want to do with this blog.
After some midnight insomnia thinking I decided the main purpose is to serve as a memory box.
I want my little ones, and myself, to be able to look back and go ‘o yes, I remember.’
I want my wee ones to have a reasonably honest record of our thoughts and dreams and struggles and the magic moments of their childhood.
I want to remember. The little moments that get forgotten. The big struggles that get glossed over. When I’m old and doddering in some nursing home by the sea (I hope!) I want to scroll through and sigh and grimace and grin.
Of course, by then the Internet might have been thoroughly supplanted or destroyed (what? shock, horror, but yes, civilisations rise and fall, even our technology driven one and all my words might be megabits of stardust,) but if it’s not, I’d like the memories.
One of the most precious things I have is my own mother’s journal of my early days. It’s comforting to read the story of my own birth, to read about my early years. When confronted with my Sprocket’s speech delays it was so helpful to read about my own speech delays. And I’m okay now. Well, apart from the mumble.
I’ve loved (and been deeply moved) reading my grandmother’s record of her children’s early days. The funny things my mum and her siblings said and did. How they coped when my Granny’s son, my mum’s brother, died of SIDS.
I could keep it as a private journal and I’ve considered it. Why make something aimed at my wee ones into something Out There?
But publishing forces me to think a little more about what I write, to write more regularly. To craft more.
And it also seems safer. I still get a jab of sorrow when I remember the words that I wrote in the hospital after Poppet was born… and which then got lost when we moved house… If the house burns down, at least this little pocket of time, words and photos, is safe.
With that in mind though, there are things I’ve been shying away from that I want to make more of a focus. They’re central to our family, but I’ve refrained from writing about them, mostly because so many other people write about them so much better. But I’ll write my take, for our family.

Matters of health. Like the rest of the western world we’re struggling with cutting out the junk food and exercising more. I’ve read every book under the sun, but getting into habits of health, out of habits of ease and ‘treats’ is taking some work. Read a lot of work. Read it’s doing my flipping head in.
Matters of faith. I’ve tried to keep from writing about this. Mostly because I don’t feel like my faith fits in anywhere. It’s awkward. And ugly. And inconvenient. And petulant. And full of unanswered (unanswerable?) questions. I remember when I was full of joy and certitude and lightness. That time is not now. But maybe writing about it will help me find some answers, help others who are kicking at walls. I do know I need to start actually dialoguing, rather than navel-gazing.
Matters of addiction. Mainly to the Internet. (Although sugar is way up there. Way up there) Pinterest, scrabble online, idle blog-surfing - I’m looking at you. It’s a surprisingly hard habit to break. And for something that seems so innocuous, the effect on our family life… is not good.
Matters of magic. I want to capture more of these. The small moments that bring heartsease. The funny stuff that cracks me up. The fall of light. The fall of a wave. The sound of the rain on the roof. My children’s sleep-breathing. The lines of poetry that make my breath catch.
Matters of the mind. The things that are inspiring us. The books, the movies, the music, the exhibitions. The things that make our minds (and hearts) leap.
Matters of stuff. Sometimes it seems like we're just drowning in 'stuff.' I have dreams of a big truck pulling up and taking it all away. This year I aim to get rid of all the 'stuff' and try to shop simply and ethically. The thought of the kids, my beloved, or I wearing stuff made in sweat shops or eating animals that have been maltreated makes my stomach turn. If it takes a bit longer to source, or costs a bit more, it has to be worth it. But it does mean being more organised…  Now that's a nasty word. 

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