Winter update: light and dark

Where to begin? It’s been a long time since I’ve written, and I feel all clogged up with words and thoughts that have been knocking around for weeks, trying to get out.

There was Christmas, for which I only managed to decorate this much.

Christmas Lights

Somehow, this string of lights managed to pick up on my lack of motivation, and all but 6 lights fizzled out.

I felt some guilt about this, since I have young children, and I feel some ambient social pressure to drape our house in all sorts of festive finery and set up jolly, felted craft projects. I just honestly didn’t have the energy, and Jo never asked to decorate. To be honest, craft projects hold his attention for about 6 minutes at the most, and if we had decorated, I’m 90% sure that I would have spent all of my time explaining why ornaments are for hanging on trees, not for throwing as ninja bombs.

And then there was the night of the glorious power outage on our entire block. It lasted for hours. We could see more than the requisite 16 stars, and our house was DARK. Not just we-turned-out-all-the-lights-before-bed situation, when we still have the eerie, golden, sodium streetlight glow seeping in all the windows. It was the darkness I remember as a girl, growing up on the mesa. The darkness that happens when the sun sets and night falls and you’re out on a mesa in the dark, with coyotes.

AJ wanted to light candles, and I wouldn’t let him for the first hour or so. I just wanted to lay on the couch, curtains and shutters wide open, in that quiet blackness.

There’s just more room to fall back when it’s dark like that. To rest your weight and be still.

But then we did light the candles, which felt sort of epic, since these were all the candles that the women in my life gave me to light when I was having the home birth that never happened.


So they’ve been christened now, and I love watching them burn, late on these winter nights.

Seems like I’m circling around a theme of light and darkness here—not bad for these days as we’re slowly climbing out of the pinpoint funnel of solstice. I often wish I had more quiet in the winter, to contemplate and breathe about the fallow, slow darkness.

As always, my project is to slow down. Drive the speed limit or less. Walk so that my body is upright instead of lurching forward towards the next and next and next thing. But not so slow that I lose all inertia and wind up on the couch hypnotizing myself with the 407th season of the Bachelor and a pint of coffee ice cream…

OH! And there were all of your fabulous photo responses to my call for pumping room portraits, about which I will write a post soon, so that you can see them in all their glory. And I have a pumping room update of my own–all of your Facebook comments inspired me to do some advocating for the lactating women at my office and there have been some developments. Namely, a new pumping room. That’s heated. Isn’t that something? Portrait coming soon.

5 thoughts on “Winter update: light and dark

  1. Nothing like a few hours with no electricity to make one wish for solar panels and batteries. That’s the way i lived for a few years down in my beloved and much missed Geezerville. Tell me, did you reach the point where you began to doubt the power would ever come back on?
    Probably takes more than a few hours.
    Some day that will be true.
    As I heard somewhere, did you know that the human eye can see a candle 10 miles away? I think this theory needs to be tested….let’s go to the desert.

    I’m with you about the no Xmas decorations. It’s pretty easy for me to ignore the whole mess as I live alone and have no grand-kids.
    How are you two handling the whole ‘Santa Claus’ character with your kids? Getting kids to believe in that myth seems to be setting them up for the first unforgettable slap in the face that grownups will lie so convincingly.
    Maybe in some way that myth also sets them up for facing reality while growing up….it’s mostly an illusion… least that has been my lifelong experience.

    Congratulations on your pump room. Did you manage to get the gay boy foot massages?

    Are you two feeling any energy toward planting your parking strip/garden? I am ready with any and all advice.

    Much love to you all.

  2. this post is funny and poetic. I loved it. I also love seeing my candle lit (only burn for 90 hours at a time!). I’m trying very hard to stop lurching and hurrying, myself. I sometimes miss the deep darkness too.

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