Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Weathering the Dark (still)

On a morning when I don't really have time even to open the computer,
this blog post came to life.

Well, I do like to wrap things into tidy packages here and say, "gosh, that was hard, but things are all better!" But things are still hard. We're experiencing a lot of stress. You'd think that something we have so anticipated (such as moving to Mexico IN A MONTH) would be all roses (or at least I'd think that), but frankly it's a struggle. There are many beautiful and sweet and calm and loving moments in our days. And underlying that and .. clamping down on it, is a ... tightness. When I get to Baja, and the sun beats down, and I can dip my toe in the ocean, I will be shocked and astounded.

Last night we blew off some steam. I drank more wine than I usually do throughout the course of a whole evening (which is not very much) before we had even sat down at our table at the restaurant. And as soon as we took our seat, Anjali began what might be called our new ritual at this restaurant with chalkboard surface on the table and a little jar of multi-colored chalks. She colored very heavily a circle of purple, and then a circle of red, and then used the straw from her water to drip onto it and swirled her finger to make a paste. Then she reached over and applied it to my face as costume makeup. And while she was doing that on her side, Sealion did the same on his side, and applied it to her face. And before we knew it, we were "that family." With the colored chalk all over our face at a packed brewpub when it is no longer Halloween.

The first time this happened was last week, and Sealion started it. And I was embarrassed and looked for an excuse not to do it. Me ~ a woman who would rather wear costumes (or be naked) and have magical theatrical makeup on every day. Me ~ who considered the face painting that my daughter did at Burning Man to be no less than Sacred and wore it proudly the whole week. (I do believe what I do there to be a sacred ritual. Even, and maybe especially, the silly.) Me ~ who proclaims that Self-Expression and Art are of utmost importance in everyday life. I was embarrassed because I didn't want to draw attention to us and our un-normal-ness. And this caused me great pause. It caused me to question my values. So last night when she began smearing her chalk-pasted finger on my cheek before I even knew what was happening, I took it as an honor. And I drew some on Sealion's face. And he drew one of those silly puppet faces on his hand. And talked to the politely surprised college-age server with it.

Blowing off steam.

Even if I had to blush a little bit, you couldn't see it through the facepaint. And by the end of the evening, we were saying "Fuck it!" "Fuck all the expectations! Fuck how other people see us! Fuck it that there are packing boxes to trip over in the hallway and dirty dishes all over the kitchen!" (But we weren't saying this word so that our daughter could hear us because I have already been in the embarrassing situation where she repeated with great enunciation the curse word I pronounced at the check-out counter.... hmm. Not so good..) And it felt like quite a release.

We still managed to yell at each other just once this morning as we made our way through what needed to be done, but as Scott reminds so soothingly, "We are finding our way." "I know things are rough right now, but things have been rough before, and they felt better after a while."

We are finding our way. Blowing off steam.


Alyssum Pohl said...

ha! i don't mean to laugh....but I've been having parallel thoughts regarding how not-sophisticated I want to let myself be out in public. I feel ready to grow up on one hand, and really want people take me seriously...but on the other hand, being silly is quintessential alyssum!

Tiffanie said...

I don't mind you laughing. :-)
Yeah ~ I think with mommihood came the need to seem "responsible" and "mature." What do these mean? Ahh. Self-perception. ;-)
One of my favorite attributes of yours, Alyssum: your goofy/silly-ness. It's a quality I've wished to emulate.