Listening to: "Girls Like You" by Maroon 5
Outside: Crispy, charred dandelions. Yellow grass. Angelic clouds.
As we boil through a summer the UK hasn't seen since The Bronze Age (?) I sweat at my laptop keyboard. I submit myself to another day of waiting.
I am doing everything I can not to lose my mind.
I listen to "Girls Like You" on repeat for the five hundredth time. Something about this song and music video feeds me. I drink up these women and Adam Levine's tattoos. I love the camera's revolutions around and around, these women and the ways in which they have impacted the world. I love their revolutions: Athletes, politicians, singers, actors. These women are authors, bloggers, life-changers. They breathe deeply and Make Things Happen - Olympic gold medalists, comedians questioning the status quo, and Ilhan Omar, Minnesota's first Somali-American Muslim legislator - and here they are, dancing on a stage with Adam Levine (whose deliciously gory role in American Horror Story: Asylum made me a forever fan).
I measure my days in loads of laundry, in sun-drenched school runs, in shifts at work. I have cooked meals, allowing myself to enjoy it (I am not the domestic type - as a child I bridled against anything Ladylike. I was - thankfully - rarely chained to the kitchen's countertop or to the making of meals; I was uncaged to run through the woods like one of those wild, soapless kids in Lord of the Flies). I stand in my grown-up sweltering kitchen, feeling that cool breeze waft and I turn to make sure the pan doesn't boil over; I try to let domesticity soak into my pores, if only for twenty minutes. I have kept myself busy during my journey to traditional publishing. I have a literary agent who has said those magic words: This is going to be great. My journey continues. Here is the hardest part.
So, one step below the summit of this mountain I've climbed since March of 2010, I wait, knowing there will be a rope to hang onto that's just not there yet. I turn around, away from the mountain-face, to take in the vista, and here's what I see:
A woman on edge, me, checking her email. Again.
A Facebook newsfeed - children separated at the US-Mexico border, shootings in American classrooms, in a Maryland newspaper office. The terror, the questions. The urge for something to change. Friends wishing to emigrate.
A new novel's first draft just shy of 72,000 words, cracking its way out of the shell of her mind, breathing for the first time, spreading its wet wings.
A fresh glass of shiraz.
I also see this:
|My family, my best friend. Each one brightens my life.|
|Part of my Wall of Inspiration. |
My American Flag:
my beginning, my love, my challenge to change.
|My mom on her wedding day, September 11, 2001. |
She was my audience, the voice in my head,
my narrator for every story.
I survive off of Adam Levine and his song's busy women. They act as my fuel: they each moved mountains, and therefore so can I. I have my friends and family and my daughter cheering me on from my mountain's base camp. Their voices are always there, and they send up cheerful Thermoses of warmed soup when I need it most, tamping insanity down, quieting its flames. Here we are, just below the summit, and I wait for those at the top to send down the rope. (All it takes is one yes.)
I stand here, and wait, flexing my fingers to grab hold.
|Lena and her brand new dream catcher, May 2018. |
May her dreams always be big.
The world needs a girl like her, too.
And you, too. Your mountain awaits.
Happy Saturday, everyone!