A Moment

tired-dogI’m working too much. I don’t stop because I love what I’m doing. I love being flooded with ideas, words and images. I love fashioning them like a seamstress to fit the page. I finish a piece of writing but there is no rest, my mind goes to the next and the next with excitement and wonder. I am a slave to the muse. I have kissed her face and eaten her ambrosia. I would follow her anywhere.

I stopped sleeping months ago. Midnight to three is typical, midnight to five is better. Today I slept from midnight to seven, which rarely happens. I envy the young who sleep for hours, needing to be called into the day. If I stay up past midnight my body decides it’s a new day and gives me a fresh burst of energy, then I’m really in trouble. 

Gib is working long hours as well. He plays tennis at eight, runs the pallet company until three, then leaves to coach at the high school. He comes home after dark with more work to do and too much on his mind. 

We live like spinning tops swirling in and out of the same circle, but sometimes as he lies on the couch looking into his laptop, and I make my way toward my own pile of work, I’ll pause near the edge of the sofa. His silver hair spreads out just enough to grab my attention; I remember, stop and touch.

I’ll run my fingers against his scalp, gently pull on his long hair and move my hands along his brow. That’s all it takes. His body moves to meet me, his eyes close and his expression changes from one of worry to a deep and welcome letting go. It’s only a moment, but it saves us. We remember and rekindle who we are together.

The moment is broken when I ask his advice, or shake my head in wonder as I glance into the kitchen.

You’re constitutionally incapable of closing a cupboard door, aren’t you?

He smiles, looking at the evidence of his absent-minded path. I never seem to learn, do I? 

My oldest sister, Mary Ann, once told me that men are like loyal dogs. I thought that was demeaning and offensive at the time, but the longer Gib and I are together, the more I take her point. A good scratch behind the ears and all is back on track.


Ice packs on my back. Alternating hot and cold. Stretched out in bed wishing I was being productive instead.

Something inside of me snapped, pulled, hurt, reminding me to surrender.

And so my husband carried the laundry baskets, the trash can and followed me around like a worried servant.

What can I do? What else can I do? Lie down. Stop. Do nothing.

I can’t. I am overwhelmed. I have too too much to do and there is not enough of me to go around.

Karen, Love, you have got to learn to stop and let go. You make urgency where there is none. So what? So what if you don’t show up? You can reschedule clients, be late, miss meetings. The world will not end.

Oh, but I care too much. There is so much to do and no one but me to do it.

You don’t owe anybody anything. YOU must be your first priority. Every one else, every thing else must wait.  You have got to learn two very important words. Repeat after me: fuck it !  Try it, say it, fuck it! Keep saying it until you get it right. 

Zen saying: There is so much to do, I must go very slow.