This morning I was sewing a button onto my oldest most favorite peacoat listening to the water strike the hull while the ferry cut through Puget Sound.
In, out, cross over, cross under, swoosh, swoosh, swoosh.
Fully aware that I only had navy thread in my little sewing packet which was not ideal as the coat was black. Fully aware that my fingers were seizing up with cold. I persevered; in, out, under, over. Here is what struck me — I loved this thirty minute suspension of time, when I unclenched my teeth and listened. Focused on the minute. Not one need to move.
I miss suspended time, like the period of quarantine during covid when not a car was on the road and the earth was flooded with silence. My ears and mind opened to all the possibilities. So sue me; I loved spooling myself back onto my core being when it was mandated to stay still.
This month I am in Seattle, meeting deadlines and sitting in small spaces with my fellow memoirists, drafting and charting and prompting our stories into more layers of words and story. I feed off their energy, squirrel it back with me to my desk, run it through my head on walks, wrestle with new format on paper. But this February, 2023 I feel hustled; hustled to do things fast, run from one moment to the next, cram it all in again; do more, try harder, go back to the way you used to be!
Because I have a better template, one that savors not squanders. One that understands only so much walking feels good, so many errands are important, too many workshops are just — well — confusing.
That said, I went MOG shopping yesterday with two patient women. As the Mother of the Groom I feel more pressure than MOB because I have trouble being neutral. I pulled on dress after dress (this is another blog that involves Nordstroms, sizing on the racks, and real bodies), tossing colors and deep necklines and contour fits to the floor alongside mountains of tulle, rushing in and out of the room for consultation. By the end of the first hour my hair was standing on end and my patience and composure ragged. I took them to lunch and had a very uncharacteristic glass of wine. Then I found the one, only to worry the next ten hours that it was a little too sparkly. TBD on whether I order the dress that made me feel marvelous. Read: not so neutral.
All of this swirled around my head in the tub last night, soaking my tired dress-shopped-out feet. The urge to keep shopping, try more stores, do it all over again made me jittery. Then I thought this exact thought: you don’t have to do this, didn’t you learn anything?
I did indeed. So I ordered it.
What did you keep from the time of covid lockdown that you actually love?