in light of hemingway's advice

“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” 
― Ernest Hemingway

For several months I've been in this funny place where somehow I have too much and too little to say. I don't know how that works exactly but it seems to keep me from saying anything at all. And then I start to feel a bit less like myself when all these words pile up inside me...and then you get posts like this. 

Brace yourself, folks. 

I decided to take Hemingway's advice and write a true sentence. This decision is ironic since I recently read The Paris Wife, a fictional take of Hemingway's first marriage as narrated by his wife, and Ernest Hemingway is now #1 on my Least Favorite People List. It's a short list, folks. Hemingway may actually occupy several places in the top five. But the advice is helpful- so let's go from there. 

Now about that one true sentence...

My life is shifting around me, solid things giving way and new things easing up, and I don't always know how to feel about that. 

It seems like somewhere along the way I had found a rhythm, a steady-yet-offbeat cadence that my life moved to. This involved a backseat full of kids, a solid team of six of us, reading and writing at all hours of the day, a general existence of physical health, a predictable chaos of sorts. 

And then there was now. And now is not like any of that. 

Take this for example. This is the guy who now sits next to me in the front seat. 

Drew- 10 years

This subtle shift, this not-being-the-only-person-up-front, this minor change makes me do a double take as a pattern of the last decade is undone. It's "we" up here  now. Where did you come from? I wonder. When did you get here? How did I not see this coming? 

And just when I started to think that my babies aren't really babies anymore, here comes this guy on the scene.  
Silas- 7 weeks

In the blink of an eye it's all diapers and spit up and first smiles that we're swooning over. Where did you come from? I wonder. How could I ever think we were all here before you? How did I not see this coming? There it is again, that shift that happens when I stepped out on something and it changed underneath me. 

Other things have done that, too. My health has taken a strange turn since Silas came, resulting in two brief hospital stays. The big things have been ruled out, things like heart disease and blood clots and asthma and major concerns, but we still don't really know what is wrong with me, why some days my breathing is off and my chest is so tight. ("We don't know what it is, but we're pretty sure it's not serious," said the cardiologist. OK...?) And the not knowing and the discomfort that comes and the anxiety that can linger from not knowing......all of that is uncharted territory. Outside the pattern. New beats in this rhythm. 

Maybe at some point you stop trying to find your old rhythm and simply acknowledge that the song has changed.  That this is the new us, the new life, the new we. 

In the midst of things shifting, some things are blessedly steady. 

My girls are my girls: smiling, singing, dancing, changing their clothes so often that it drives me nuts. 

My second recently turned eight, and he is still funny and kind, still has the same twinkle in his eye that I swear he was born with. 

We still love pizza and ice cream, still listen to audio books, Sara Groves, and Spotify. 

We still rack up library fines and mountains of laundry, still struggle to speak life and practice self control. 

My husband is still my favorite person. Ever.  

We still look to Jesus, and He is still good. 

So I guess that's it, a small but significant piece of the days that are unravelling as summer slips away.  We're trying to find our footing in this new family dynamic, trying to claim this brave new world with more courage and less longing for the shores we left behind. 

Thanks for stopping in. It's good to be here again and put some words to the process. Hope you're having a lovely lazy summer, folks. 


Tori said...

I have nothing important to say...just so good to hear from you!! :)

Becky said...

Thanks, friend!

Teresa said...

Such a relief to know that I am not the only one who cannot keep track of library books or their due dates. Hoping someday they will name a new branch after us for all the donations we have made over the years...