I hope you hear this too.

She still doesn't have the Christmas thing together at all. Year after year, it's messed up.

I think she's doing a pretty good job, really, all things considered.

A good job of what? She hasn't prepared anything.

Well, how would you do, trying to prepare for a holiday when you're in a new country and you don't even know where to get the things you need?

It's not really just that, though. Have you noticed how she's dropping all the balls? The thin strands that she grasps to hold her relationships together, the emails going unreplied, the way she knows the phone calls that she should be making-- but still doesn't make them.

Is unreplied even a word?

You know what I mean. Don't pretend you haven't seen it. She doesn't send photos out, she hasn't done Christmas cards this year. She's just irresponsible. I saw dirt in her baby's ear the other day.

She's so young, though.

Not that young. Wasn't she supposed to publish a book by twenty-five? HA! How's that going for her?

Wasn't that your stupid idea? You told her that youth was some sort of competition. She's too smart for that now. She knows about the body of work that she will gradually add to, all of her life. There is no need to be a prodigy, no need for fame. Just page after page, added to a pile, like leaves in an old book, crumbling slightly because they've been read over so many precious times.

It's a pretty small pile, at this point.

But zoom out, and all of her children are part of her body of work, and zoom out again, and all of those relationships (which are not held together by anything as flimsy as threads, regardless of what you mistakenly believe) are part of the body of work, and then come back even farther and you can see that every dish washed clean in a late night sink, every old smile held on by sheer willpower, all of these are a part of a majestic body of work. By the time she dies it will be higher than the tallest trees.

But she can never keep up! All of those late night dishes are in danger of falling over and crushing her, and her laundry is never clean and there are all of those emails that go unanswered. She knows that she needs to do these things, but she's always failing, she's always so far behind. I saw her lying in bed this morning, when she knew she should get up and start working.

She was watching the wind move the trees.

She knew she should get up, though.

Yes, but isn't there a lot more to life than your to-do lists? You always talk about owing-- she owes a lot more than work. She owes delight, she owes noticing, she owes attention and laughter and listening to that rustling of the wind in the coconut trees and sitting on the floor memorizing the faces of her children.

I've lost you.

That's because you're losing her. She won't let you mess with her forever.  She won't listen to you anymore. She'd rather watch the wind.