Archive | October, 2015

A Childhood Comfort

30 Oct

Ever since I was a child, I have always found the hum of heat vents to be comforting. I know this probably doesn’t seem important. After all, I am hardly the first person in the world to be calmed by “white noise.” My bestie prefers a fan on even in the dead of winter. My sons both find sleep hard without their sound machines. For me, though, it’s more than just a noise. There’s a comfort in the steadiness of it, the reliability of its warmth. No matter what else is going on in my life, it brings me peace and contentment.

The best, the very best, heat vents were at my grandmother’s house. I don’t know if it was because her house was old, or if it’s just the perhaps unreliable memories of a child, but her heat vents were stronger, louder, than any other I’ve ever encountered. I loved laying in my bed at her house and just listening to it. Even then, I found it odd that the flow of air could give the illusion of stillness. When the thermostat would reach the desired temperature and the heat would stop, I would bug my grandma incessantly to turn it up, warmer and warmer, until I fell asleep. Poor woman must have been sweating bullets all night, but she never said no.

Even better, though, than the vent in the bedroom was the vent in my grandma’s bathroom. Her bathroom was small, and when the heat was on the room took on a sauna-like quality. I used to bring a blanket and some books into the bathroom, curl up, and just be. Strange, maybe, but that little nook between the sink and the door was one of my favorite places. I never felt safer than I did on that bathroom floor.

Now my grandma is gone, and odds are I’ll never visit that house or her magical heat vents ever again. While the vents in my own house will probably never live up to the ones in my memory, they do offer their own added layers of comfort. 5:00 a.m., when the heat first kicks on, has become one of my favorite times of day. In those early morning moments, the heat and my husband’s breathing are the only things I hear. My mind is the wandering kind, but in those moments there is a reprieve, a satisfaction in knowing that he is there, and that my children are warm and safe in their beds. In those early morning moments, I am reminded to count my blessings, because In those early morning moments, everything is perfect.

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A Day in the Life of a Pseudo-Writer

7 Oct

I wake up. I’m immediately greeted with the thought that I want to be a writer when I grow up. I remind myself that I am a writer. I am also a grown up. Sort of. I recite the mantra, “I am a writer. I am a writer. I am a writer.”

I go to work. I teach. I read my students’ writing. I am envious of the fact that they are actually writing. I am envious of the fact that they have a teacher telling them to write, giving them the gift of time to write. I wish I had my own such task master.

I am inspired by their words, by their experiences, by their stories. I want to write them, for them. The ideas rattle around in my mind, distracting. The ideas turn into words which turn into sentences which turn into paragraphs which turn into pages in my mind.

The work day ends. I pick up one child, then go home and wait for the second. Snacks. Toys. Books. Homework. Dinner. Laundry. Baths. Dishes. More Books. Bedtime Rituals.

Silence.

I grade papers. Enter grades. Answer emails.

All the while the pages float, idle, waiting, impatient.

I sit on the couch. I think about how I should exercise. I eat candy instead. I think about how I want to be writing. I watch TV instead.

I crawl to bed. I pick up my phone to set my alarm and take a moment to check what’s happening on Twitter. I see my friends and my idols, all creative geniuses, all writing. Poems, blogs, books. Productive. Working. Writers.

The pages in my mind give up fighting and settle into the folds of my memory. Maybe tomorrow, I think. Maybe then. Maybe then I will be a writer who actually writes.