It is 11:38 PM and I am still picking up the house, moving laundry, examining the calendar for tomorrow. I’m desperate to slip into my pajamas and sit down. Can’t remember the last time I’ve gone to bed before 11:30. Madeleine L’Engle called this season, the “tired thirties” and boy was she right. Unfortunately, I’m on the cusp of 40, and the next decade is looking just as dubious. L’Engle writes,
“I was always tired. So was Hugh. During the decade between thirty and forty, most couples are raising small children, and we were no exception. Hugh was struggling to support his growing family… And there was I, absolutely stuck in bucology, with the washing machine freezing at least once a week, the kitchen never above 55 degrees when the wind blew from the northwest, not able to write until after my little ones were in bed, by which time I was so tired that I often quite literally fell asleep with my head on the typewriter.”
So there she sat, one of the most creative writers of our time, a woman whose words and soul have been like manna to me on certain days, asleep at her desk. And I am siting here, hunched over my keyboard, finding this whole effort of trying to string words, ridiculous. My eyes keep closing. Something that happens now when I sit down. I told my husband recently that I’ve adapted the old commercial quip from, “I’ve fallen! And I can’t get up!” to “I’ve sat down. And I can’t get up!”
And yet, as much as I want to pull on my cotton jersey pants, I yearn to create something, write something, piece a pattern of words that might mean something to someone besides myself. And it’s frustrating, day after day, to never have the time for it. The brain for it. Or the energy.
I’m fading fast. So I leave the computer and head upstairs to my twin girls’ bedroom. I turn the door quietly and return a lost doll to her cradle. As I pull Ali’s covers over her, I notice the moonlight, liquid blue, rolling in waves across her hands. I flick the blind slats and peer through the window to find the source, big and beaming, sailing over the mountain, illuminating the clouds below.
The moon has a pull, a gravitational one that guides the tides, but also a pull on my heart. Whatever the stage – waxing gibbous, waning crescent, new, or full – she grounds me. I think it’s her transformative nature – always changing, but always predictable. Able to work through a number of shifting faces, but always beautiful. I want to be like her.