Sunday, March 29, 2015

the thick of it

Twice a week, I look forward to reading the essays edited and published by Jennifer Niesslein on her website, Full Grown People. These are the essays that stick with me for days after I have read them, carrying the whole beast around heavy on my chest or just a small spark or nugget that wraps itself around my thoughts and redirects them, depending on where each essay takes hold.  But take hold they invariably do.

I was fortunate to have an essay selected to be included in FGP's first anthology, Greatest Hits, Volume One, first as a print book, and now available as an ebook, too, through Amazon and Smashwords.

I love what Jennifer says about the intent of the website and anthology:
“The thick of life” stuck with me. Because that’s really what those decades between being truly young and truly old are, aren’t they? They’re not the thin broth of youth, waiting for ingredients; yet our lives aren’t solidified, either. We’re getting more acquainted with the hard stuff—the deaths, the limitations, the realizations that we can’t make people be who we want them to be—but we also have the hope, the smarts, and the gumption to take what we’ve created of our lives so far and evolve.
Read more here.   And there are some lovely words about the anthology here.

And also, wonderful news for the twitter world, Zsofi McMullen will now be tweeting for the website, a contributor to the website and to the anthology, and one of my favorite writers to read these days.  Her essay, Inked, and what it reveals about marriage in this stage of life, was one of my favorite essay reads in quite some time.
I also realized how it’s possible to know someone so well, and yet not at all. How everyone’s life is full of topsy-turvy roads and blind spots and how sometimes the person we think we know best is the one who will surprise us the most. Sometimes the person we love wants lots of tattoos.
And now, it's Sunday.  And we are in the midst of a home improvement project here.  In our 250 year old house, sorting through the moving boxes and files and documents accumulated over the course of our adult life together and even from our separate childhoods.  Recycling our files from the graduate programs and degrees we do not use, and yet in many ways use the lessons learned from those programs every day.

Then there are the spats and arguments that are likely to occur when we try to get the roll of carpet from the driveway, 20 feet long that roll is, up three flights of servant stairs with sharp small turns through the maze of our home's 18th century floor plan will likely be loaded, each of us a bit raw, our thoughts on the files we have recently sorted about where each of us has been and where we are now.  Pulling out old insulation and wood, finding treasure and foul debris in the eaves, allowing our three children to help and dealing with the fact that their help is mostly no help at all.  Being reminded that I need to feed these helpers and care for them and make sure their homework gets done, despite my desire to do this other thing, which is also for them.  

But the process.  The cleaning out, making meaning and room for growth.  It is for me, for us as well.  And turning this space into a place for our growing children and for Jonathan and I, to grow.  To fill it up with what comes next.

It's the thick of it here, right now.  Ever changing, busy, full of loss and life.  Messy, frustrating and disgusting, and fumbled through together, it is fun and ever changing and the next part of our story.

I am headed back up there now.

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