Mia took some gorgeous pictures of us at the pumpkin patch in October, and I love how they turned out. She mastered photography in about four seconds once she started doing it. She uses lighting as a tool, but gently, as something that seems like it should be there in the first place. None of this trying to wrestle lighting into submission or ignoring it altogether (read: MY photography skills). I know a lot of people dislike images that seem distorted in any way, but I don’t think photorealism is a one-size-fits-all way to go about taking pictures. Often these images that seem soft or rough around the edges on the surface do a way better job of depicting how the moment felt, and what it was like to actually be there, than more straightforward images.
Anyway I’m having a bunch of these pictures printed so I can have some around the house and give some to family, which is another household project in progress. A proposed photo shoot here in the house next month has lit a fire under me to speed up what would have been a leisurely restocking of the house. Scrambling notwithstanding, I’m glad of this. It is making me be intentional about my surroundings, and as the place comes back to life I can tell that all the empty hooks on the walls and naked spaces must be affecting me in some small, negative way.
Morella’s colds, as with all daycare kids apparently, wax and wane every couple of weeks. During one night last week she woke up so much that she ended up sleeping in my bed, where I could be vigilant with the nose wipes. When morning came, she was so precious. She peeked out at me before deciding it was safe to poke at my face and name all my facial features. Then she rolled closer to give me a kiss. Our sweet mornings are my favorite part of the day.
Her milestones are still coming fast and often. Today was the first day she ever used a legit step stool to wash her hands at the sink, and she did a great job climbing up, getting some soap (with help), and washing and drying her hands. I have to dock her a point for trying to eat the soap though. She’s starting to understand much more complex sentences, particularly when I ask her which of two things she’d rather do, or tell her a series of events that are about to take place. When I leave the room she’s in, she now waits at least five minutes before conducting a thorough search of the premises for me and sobbing if I’m not in the usual spots. She knows which hair clips and boots she likes the best. She saw her reflection in the stainless steel fixtures in the bathtub tonight, and gave herself a kiss.
A big difference between current and past breakups is that in the past, I felt unsure I was going to make it. “I can’t take this,” I would think. Now I’m like “I can take this and I will take this, there’s no choice, and it will get better very soon.” This deep river of joy was here before, and is still here now that the scum has been skimmed from the top of it, and will be here forever. But when it gets very painful anyway, like last night with the advent of new news, the casualness and the casualties, logic doesn’t help it feel any less like being eviscerated.
I know that these feelings are required exercises (or rather, exorcises?). Today I jokingly bemoaned feelings and why they exist anyway. My therapist said that lots of people think the solution to bad feelings is to just not feel them, to shut them down. But she thinks it’s much more healthy to let them run their course through you, acknowledge them, talk about them if it’s helpful, and let them get the heck out of your system. I added “And in the meantime, you still make decisions and choices based on your brain and your real heart and integrity, and not let changeable, fleeting feelings rule your existence, because you’re a grown-up.” We both nodded. It sounds so simple, and yet, is not when you’re barreling wildly through life too quickly to remember what matters. I guess we all barrel through life wildly, some to a more appalling extent than others, but probably not a difference you would notice from space. For some reason that’s comforting.
I’m glad Thanksgiving is next week. Life is truly very good, all things considered. Not even “all things considered,” it just is. I’m thankful for projects and progress at work, the gift of pumpkin cheesecake from a friend, the folks who have stopped by to share a glass of wine or a root beer, vampire viewing parties, soup, young adult fiction, the “just forward it to me and I’ll take care of it” life-saving nature of my bestie, blushing lovers with handmade jewelry, newborn babies, lunches that produce a few tears but also leftovers for a week, and the memory of Morella endlessly circling Diana’s house in search of the cat during Friendsgiving.
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