The other night I told Carl that I was turning into someone who just wants to watch an episode of the Colbert Report and be in bed by 9:30 every night, and this proclamation was not without a heavy note of despair. "What's so wrong with that?" he said. To which I responded in my head, "nothing." but in a way, a lot of things. I, along with every other mother of young kids, or person responsible for things other than your dreams, worry that I am watching all the grand ideas I thought I would do, slip away. And not necessarily in the way that they are slipping through my fingers and there's nothing for me to do about it, but some in the way that I am simply waving them on with the explanation that now is not the time. Sometimes it seems like they dance away in bright colors and turn to ask me, "are you sure you don't want to join?" and then I look at Remy, and I say to them "no thank you, I'm working on something else." This is a both a refining and sanctifying process.
I went to a lecture by Terryl Givens and his wife this week. Near the end of his lecture he said, "Good questions require risk. Every question, every reach for discovery becomes an act of faith." That line hit me like a bursting star inside my chest. It seemed so true, and also requiring much bravery. I thought about the inherent risk in asking the question, "What am I supposed to do with my time right now?" That is a hard question, and carries perhaps the most risk, because the answer might not be perfect and it might not be to pursue the dreams I thought were vital to hold on to. But I'm certain it is a good answer, probably one far better than I could have come up with.
From David Foster Wallace's commencement speech at Kenyon University in 2005:
I am grateful for the inherent risks my simple life asks me to take. Bringing another baby to our family is a risk in many ways. Probably for that baby, and for us. I know my life will change, and maybe more of the things I thought of as important to accomplish will dance further away. But in between that balance of certainty and the unknown lies a very vibrant, sometimes ethereal string of moments where all seems perfect, and maybe it doesn't just seem that way. I find my life in this place often. Between the moments of chaos and mess, trouble and worry, I find this place where Remy runs around with chocolate on his cheeks, and Carl dings his bike bell when he rides around our corner, and I even make a good dinner sometimes. This place is quotidian, almost unmentionable, but I am finding that many dreams worth pursuing are. More and more I am happier to ask the difficult questions, because they teach me who I am.