On Friday we were slowly heading home from a late lunch at a local cafe. Seconds before she fell asleep, Scarlet spoke:
"Mama, do we use magic to make it dark at night?"
"Well..not exactly. It's not us. It's the outside. Doing magic. Or something." (I kinda failed)
"What if one day, the magic that outside uses doesn't work? Would it never get dark out, or never get light out?"
And I confess that I've had that very same thought, so very many times. As a kid on the longest night of the year, which to me was Christmas Eve. It never ended! And I've lightly entertained the thought as an adult, especially during those wakeful baby nights in which I could swear many hours have passed since his last feeding and it damn well should be light out already, but no, it's only three am. Only two hours since Bubba's last feeding. Which..sucks. So far away from dawn.
These heady questions that Scarlet asked in the car just before sleep took her over were asked during a Pete Townshend solo version of "Eminence Front." It's such a haunting and captivating song and minutes before she spoke, I had been listening to it and thinking that no matter what deep sh*t your own personal world and the greater world throw at you, music can turn it all around again and make you believe in something bigger again. Or at least remember how it's done.
Which is also funny because for years I thought that song was about how people forget the beauty of life, or take it for granted. However someone told me it's actually about drugs, I think. Then again I only knew a few lines:
"The sun shines
I totally missed the mark on that one!
Anyway, it was swirled thoughts that came together in my head. I have felt disconnected lately. I know it's totally normal to feel disconnected after the holiday season, but the difference to me is whether I can say:
"I feel like I haven't seen my friends lately because we've all been busy with travel and house guests."
"I feel like I haven't seen my friends lately and it's probably because I'm a fading piece of crap."
It's a little too easy for me to fall into that second thought. And yet since yesterday, I have seen several friends and spoken with many others. We all seem to be crawling out of our holiday shells at the same time. And it makes me feel as alive as music does, but much, much more. I think New Year's resolutions are kinda stupid, or rather, it is to make resolutions just once a year and not make ones you can stick with. I had one once about using less credit cards. The following year was my worst credit card balance EVER. I never have weight loss resolutions because I'm still the same size after two kids and two thousand cookies, so I suppose that isn't changing anytime soon. Exercise? Great. Brisk walks in the woods around here.
Occasional moose hikes? Perfection.
If I had to make a resolution for this year, it would be to feel more connected and end more silences. The kids, the husband, the family, the friends. It's a time of year to burrow but it's pretty impressive, in a bad way, that six months can pass without seeing a friend who lives six minutes away. Taking partial blame sounds stupid. Partial action doesn't.
At the end of 2012, I felt like financial, career, kid and relationship stresses left me hanging by a thread, and that I was one cut away from crashing to the ground. Yet since January 1, I'm making my way out of the darkness, minute by minute. I'm uncertain about a lot of things, but not about how I feel about the people in my life. And wanting to feel connected.
It's a new day in a new month in a new year. And I just think to myself, "Let's do this."