It’s been a year since I’ve written in this space. I had good intentions (like we all do) of writing more often, of making something out of The Waterfall Project. I had one more post to go last year, one more adventure to write about.
But I didn’t write it.
I wanted to talk about water and baptism and Julia Kristeva’s essay “Stabat Mater.” I have notes. I have drafts. It didn’t go anywhere.
But it is still scratching at me. Ideas about giving birth, abandoning my Catholic upbringing, feminism, and the way art and nature and motherhood connect and disconnect. I want to explore the connections between art and the eternal, the similarities in creating art and creating humans. I want to unpack the lyricism of Kristeva’s essay- why it made me cry, makes me cry. And how much the physical space between her analysis of the Cult of the Virgin Mary and her own experiences of birth and motherhood feel like a cavern and also like a comfort. A visual break of the two halves of a mother/artist.
What is it about the water that makes me want to write about birth? What is it about seeking these waterfalls that makes me think about language?
Why does this epistolary project pull at me so strongly?
I am putting words back in this space for the same reasons I started. For motivation. For archive. For exploration. I hope these posts, the ones that get finished, will someday be a place for S to understand…what? Love.
Today you started fifth grade and so yesterday we said goodbye to summer by doing all of our favorite summer things in a row. A hike with the dog, a swim in the pool, a sunset stroll on the beach. (There it is again. Water.)
It was lovely. A perfect day of us.
And then I broke. You didn’t see it, I don’t think. But my ribcage cracked wide open on a sandbar in the middle of Long Island Sound.
We walked far out together, you chatting about Warrior Cats and me listening. You carried the water bottle and your flip flops. I held the towel, my keys, my phone. And then you dropped what was in your hands and stopped talking about the books and asked me if I would watch your stuff because you wanted “to venture out to that other island” by yourself.
Fifth grade marks the end of elementary school. You used the word “venture.” The sunset poked through the thick clouds in a way that made part of the sand look pink, even though most of the sky was grey. You are growing up and sometimes the world is beautiful and it is all too much.
Water. Birth. Change.