“Wait, pretend that…”

none finer

none finer

I know it’s good practice for writing (and living!) to slow down and listen to children.  Their work (in my daughter’s case, drama and storytelling, the elements of theatre, almost every sentence beginning with “wait, pretend that…”) is as important to them as our work (making dinner, job stuff) is to us.  This morning, keeping up with my daughter’s work was aerobic, and impossible.  I was exhausted by the rapidity of the “wait, pretend that…”s coming from her mouth.  But then–for an instant–I was able to step back and realize something.  “Wait, pretend that…” is exactly what I want her to be doing.  It’s how I want her to be in the world.  It’s the stuff of childhood.  I never want to squash that spark.  I want to give it as much room and air and light as I can.  The collision of the “wait, pretend that…”s with the things I must do to get through the day defines a certain kind of tension, a tension that is maybe necessary for creating things (I tell myself).  And yet I wish that I could slow down enough to bask in her world of “wait, pretend that…”

And then I remember that I am a writer, and I have to “wait, pretend that…” if I want to do this work (that my soul calls upon me to do).

And then I hope that this tension will resolve itself into something beautiful.  (And I watch, in my home, as sometimes, it does.)

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