Me: "Geez. How can you study while listening to this racket?"
Caedon: "It's smooth jazz, Mom."
My life is pretty weird.
My son, Caedon, age 16, is in the living room writing a socially complex and engaging science-y college paper, playing smooth jazz in the background, only stopping to ask questions about APA citations and to get excited about chemical compounds and words I cannot pronounce.
I, on the other hand, age 36 and *also* in college, am listening to 80s glam rock so loud in my headphones I can feel it in my actual bones.
I write and re-write true sentences to try and make them just 2% more beautiful every time. Just 2% more human. It's all I'm ever really trying to do.
I am literally bouncing on a yoga ball while I work, typing, writing deep, leaning in with my whole body like playing a concerto, because this is how words move me...how they move first in me and then through me.
I only stop to get excited about the dusty details of a just-uncovered memory or to have feelings about ellipses…or, let's be real…to go in search of Cheetos.
It's going to be another 100-degree day and our A/C is on the fritz, because of course it is. What this means, is that it is going to be another run-through-the-sprinklers afternoon, the third one in a row, actually, and I can't say I'm really sorry.
Peals of squealing laughter drift up through open windows full of box fans, our hands stickied with purple popsicle drip.
The pace of the week has been worth all the sweating and sighing. The listless draping of our bodies across couches with bags of frozen vegetables on the backs of our necks. The unplanned trips to the river just to cool our feet and maybe catch a fish while we're at it. The stolen kiss in a blue raft on a blue river when I "should have been" folding laundry.
It is worth stewing a little in the gravity of an impending summer break. It is worth paying attention to the way the days pour down warm and slow, puddling around our ankles like hot molasses.
(I have clearly already 100% dedicated my life to summer by now. I haven't worn shoes in days.
The kids still have seven more days of school. And then they'll be home. Like...here. All day. .... All the days in a row. Do you understand? Here. With their voices and their things and their flashing devices that never quit.
Jesus take the wheel. See you in September, sound of my own thoughts.)
For real, though.
Kids need way more run-through-the-sprinklers time, these days, don't you think? More swingsets in flight, more bare feet and monkey bars. More fireflies and caterpillars. More baseball games. More listless draping. More "go play outside." More opportunities to let their big galaxy minds spin and dance, for their popsicled hands to learn how to make things, things like books and art and music and Play-Doh creations that show the bright kaleidoscopes of their big, bare souls.
Don't we all?
Today is also a very exciting and busy day for all things related to Soul Bare—the collection of stories I've been nurturing for over three years. I'm feeling very pregnant with these incredible stories, now only four weeks from being born, raw and pink, into this spinning world.
Don't be fooled. She might be new and maybe even little, but this baby is coming out screaming—raw and strong and with a fresh and bloody barbed-wire tattoo.
There is magnitude here. There is so, so much love here. There is confession and exhalation and scabbed-knee-seeking here. There is intricate redemption here. The breadth and width and depth and height of this thing continues to grow, and though the book is complete…I have a big feeling that this is only the beginning of on-the-job training for my calling as a doula of soul bare stories. I hope you'll tell me yours.
The labor pains are beginning now, and my heart is quickening to see the face of this long-cherished, breath-full, life-full creation. In a sense, I am nesting. Trying to fluff up the whole world—one big thorny nest—to receive this tender new thing with softness and with welcome. I hope you'll love the stories I've gathered up for you.
I hope you'll like it here.
It seems an appropriate time, then, to welcome you in to this new blog of mine, and offer you a seat in the dead center of the mess and the magic. Don't mind that rip in the upholstery. We're pretty fond of well-worn things and road-weary travelers in this joint.
This place, you'll find, is part pool hall, part church, part confession booth, part pontification.
Go ahead. Sit. Let me get you a hot mug of coffee. Or some ice-cold sweet tea in a pickle jar, with a splash of honey bourbon if you're feeling wild.
(We're all a little wild here. I should warn you.)
Push all these books out of the way and make yourself comfy. Hope you brought your suit. Come, run through the sprinklers here on my new little blog. Let the sound of our laughter echo loudly over the keyboard click and clatter. Come back to visit often. The door here is always open.
Oh, and in case you're wondering, Caedon figured out the exact middle-ground-meeting-place between 80s glam rock and smooth jazz: