I am letting my kids watch more than an hour of television, since the first time I implemented the law, about a month ago---the law of only one hour of television per day. It is under the guise of "applying for a job online", specifically, a job leading nature walks for the county, sporadically and intermittently, on weekends and evenings, which would work perfectly for me. Except that I am writing this instead, because I had a revelation. And it wasn't pretty.
My life is not pretty, not just not pretty, but ugly, from the point of view of someone who is ambitious. If I am spending each moment playing with my children, it appears to come across as lazy. Being in the moment, in those moments of complete imagination, no beginning and no end, requires a rejection of all the voices begging to be listened to---the laundry voices, the food voices, the earning-money voices, the painting-writing-creating voices---in play there is no camera to record. Have you noticed that whenever you try to capture your kids playing cute or peacefully or imaginatively on camera, the effect seems to be a complete dissolution of the height of the moment? Only by staying in it can you experience, and then attempt to recreate it later, if possible, and even then it feels like shoring up a sand castle as the tide comes in.
There is no way to capture that spark of the moment, and yet there is the gold of life, there is the motivation, in that nugget of time where new words and loving emotions pour together in sync, creating a fountain of moments that you drink in readily, attempting to file as much of it away for the difficult moments when everything feels halting and rough.
The reason I felt that my life was not pretty was because my partner, my husband, my soul-mate, my one-and-only brought me a job listing which sounded perfect for me.
Lead nature walks. On evenings and weekends. Pays well. I balked.
"What, are you never going to get a job? Because someone has to stay home and walk the dog and make dinner?" he asked me.
I just stared from under my cocoon of bedcovers. Too dumb, too un-witty, too struck to say anything.
"We had an unsaid agreement when we got married. Both of us are going to work!"
I felt that my life was ugly. That my lack of ambition was unsightly, unseemly, un-something.
"You have to think about your career! You can't be away from work for too long!"
What's a job anyway? Just another way to experience this old world. Why do I feel so separate? Perhaps it's time for me to jump back into that world. I just don't feel ready. Uncertain. But that's kind of normal for me.