NaNoWriMo: Day 1

Day’s Verse:
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
Ephesians 2:8

Welcome to National Novel Writing Month. This blog will exclusively feature regular updates as I write a 50,000 word novel this month. Unlike previous years, I’m attempting a more serious novel. I welcome all productive suggestions, thoughts, and comments. Without further ado, installation one:

Christina / Friday, July 20, 11:43 am

I’m not prone to philosophizing. By and large, I leave that to people with the PhDs. I’ve got better things to do than worry about the Meaning of Life or whether there is a God. But now it seems I’ve got all this time, and my brain’s going a thousand miles a minute, but I can’t think of anything else to do that I haven’t already done. Really, there’s not that much; in another place, I’d be out there doing something to help. Here and now, though – well, all I can do is wait. And hope.

Even in the dim light, I can make out Clara sleeping. She’s at a stage where she spends more time asleep than awake, it seems like. Her eyelashes are extraordinarily long and beautiful against her remarkably clean white cheeks. When was the last time she was this clean? Yet here, after everything, the dust and dirt don’t seem to have stuck to her. She looks like some statue of the quintessential sleeping baby, a mold from which all other sleeping babies have been stamped. Not that it’s actually true – as soon as those eyes open, she’ll turn back into the howling harpy we all know and love.

I envy her ability to live in the now. She doesn’t know anything other than this present moment, can’t anticipate or fear for the future. All she knows is that she’s hungry, or tired, or her diaper is dirty. It’s a gift that children have. I see it in Ethan, too. He gets so absorbed in whatever he’s doing – coloring on the walls with marker, say, or unrolling an entire roll of toilet paper into the toilet just to see what happens – that time stands still for him.

Clara and Ethan remind me of so much that I’ve lost as an adult. We grownups go through life thoughtlessly, passing through each day to just get to the next one. Get up, feed the dog, feed the kids, kiss darling spouse goodbye, trudge off to work. Nose to the grindstone. The next day, do it all again. Before long, years have gone by, and you’re not sure where they’ve gone. Oh, maybe you have some highlights, your trip to Maui or the week you spent in the mountains, but what about every day, every minute?

If Clara could talk, I think she’d chastise me, her mother. Live more, she’s say, Live more and achieve less. Find your enjoyment in doing a thing, not achieving a thing.

But right now, that adult achievement mentality will keep us alive. I have to keep thinking about the future, not the present moment. If I dwell too much in the now, I’m pretty sure I’ll just fall apart and we’ll die in here. Continue reading “NaNoWriMo: Day 1”