Quote of Inspiration

I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Atilla and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn't quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.

Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Fig 29 of 52

I spend a lot of time thinking about the meaning of life. I think about what I'm supposed to be doing, what I've done in the past and what my future holds. I think about potential 'other' lives and I wonder if I've learned enough in this life that my next life will be a good life. I worry that I haven't learned enough in this life, and I fear that in another life I'll come back as a heroin junkie because I'll STILL have to learn lessons about control, fear and letting go.

In the midst of all this thinking and wondering and fearing and anticipating, I miss the point of today. I blow by the now, and maybe the lesson is that the now is the only thing that matters after all.

If I stop and look at the now, I see one thing: my children. I see them and I feel them, and sometimes I lie in bed at night and cry, because it's only when I am quiet and still and can feel the weight of all my chores and projects and goals lifted off my shoulders for an hour that I take the time to really see my kids and appreciate them and feel the love of being their mother.

I want my kids to know what I feel for them, and I want to take the time to express it (for myself as much as for them) in the only way I am able to fully express myself: through writing. So, I have written them poems, finally, after years of wanting to do it.

It took years because I was afraid my poems wouldn't be good enough. I was afraid that later in their lives, my kids would pull out the poems I wrote for them and laugh and read them aloud to a wife or husband and they would kind of smirk. I'm not sure why I have this fear, because I can't imagine doing that if someone wrote me a poem, particularly a parent. And I can't imagine my kids doing that either.

And anyway, life can't be about trying to anticipate another person's response, immediate or down the road. Life can only be about what we feel and know to be true, in this moment.

I'll post the poems later today......when I have a quiet moment.


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