The roller coaster that I live on

Over the weekend I became convinced that I can't write. What a crazy girl I was to think I could! I've been fooling myself all this time. It made me very, very sad to know this. I reacted by going into town on Saturday, drinking an Americano with a double shot of espresso too late in the day and then sitting in my van, while the rain poured down all around me. I sat there reading a book until the sun started to go down and the light got too dim. Then I turned on my dome light and read some more, until it was really, really dark. Finally I shook myself, bought some groceries, and on the way home I listened to the same two Innocence Mission songs over and over again. Remember that I live half an hour away from town, so they repeated about a thousand times. When I got home I told my husband all about it, about how I can't write! I'll never live my dream! What a sad reality, to want something so badly and never have it! What kind of a cruel joke is this?!

Are you kind of understanding what he has to live with?

Then, yesterday, I was reminded again that I said I would try. And I will. I'll come back and try to make a safe place for myself, from myself and face a blank page, and write mud that can hopefully be turned into something as radiant as dragonfly wings by the time I'm on the eighth or ninth draft. Just like I'll keep trying to be even slightly graceful as I stomp and stumble around the floor in my West African Dance class tonight. And I'll keep turning out these handknitted dishcloths until I'm good enough to make myself the hooded sweater that I've always wanted, with a hood big enough to fit on my head above my long neck.

But last week what really happened, what was so great, was that I was able to spend time with my grandparents, two incredible people who have been married to one another for almost sixty years. Sixty years! Not only that, but they've been working together in their store every day until just two months ago, when they finally retired. My grandpa is seventy-nine.

What I really love to see, when we're together, is how they sing together while they wash dishes and clean up. Maybe Chinua and I should try that, rather than throwing water in each other's faces and dishcloths at one another's heads. You never know, we might get more done.