In the shower I re-evaluate it all. It’s the mother’s sanctuary, where I cry about how good God is and how little I’ve read to my Ian. It’s where the should-haves drain. If a shower is to be in the story, I’ll have earned it. I’ll turn the water on hot and let it steam. I’ll evaluate the laundry situation, and then I’ll shirk my clothes along with the desire for more space.
Our house is used to capacity, and I haven’t found a way to hide the broom and vacuum along the wall or the pile of shoes. Titus got in the bath fully dressed yesterday, so his mocs lay there drying. It’s not neat. I can’t hide it, my laughable whirlwind attempts to keep things put away, how the scale just floats about the tile floor.
When Grandma used to live here, she would say, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” For the scale and for so many other things, there’s just no good place, no way to explain or get the numbers to add up. There’s a number that used to make me feel secure, but it doesn’t anymore, and good thing because I haven’t seen that number in months.
Every thing in its place. Food for the mouth, did you say? I know it was that saucy bread pudding during the holidays and the chikfila brought by dearest ones during hospital stays. It was the toffee my sister-in-law makes: Christmas Crack. I couldn’t stop. And then at the funeral, the homemade fried chicken. I ate it like grief’s demand, three pieces in surrendered enjoyment.
From time to time, while the water steams, I balance on the scale, a naked mother of four, not to worship the body, but to call it temple. I see. I see. Cut back.
In the balance of self-control and no control, I push the scale to the side. The food won’t help the missing or my lack of control over the safety of my family. The right digital number doesn’t mean that I’ve done well, that I have my fingers in the marionette strings of my own life.
When I ate that chicken, I didn’t feel guilty even an ounce. I threw my head back and laughed in my pearls and black dress. It was worth it. For someone who loves to laugh, I tightrope best I can, net of grace if I fall.
As I consider a writer’s voice, I wonder how it is for you. If we all have one, I wonder about other things, other things that most of us have. Like your scale, for example. If voice is cadence and music and space, how you write out the matter in your life and the meaning it gives, what about your scale? It’s certainly different than mine. So how is it for you? — On Mondays I write out spirit by practicing a little with the concrete things in my life and maybe in a fictional life. If you want to join this small community with these prompts, send your readers this way, and link up below at any point this week. Practice writing, the craft; share it with us. Next week’s topic is Rock. Make sure to use #concretewords on twitter. Thank you always for coming here and walking with me.