when i wake up every morning, i think about all the five million tiny little things i want to accomplish that day or that week. i plan them out and see my time stretching before me and i know i'll only finish a fraction of it. i consider how tired i am and how much of it i might actually have energy for. most of the five million tiny little tasks are mundane: clean the bathroom, dust, do the dishes - but some are creative: bake bread, finish crocheting the plant hanger - and still others will likely fall right off the priority list for lack of time (both to actually fit in and the quality of time it takes - uninterrupted, thoughtful): return all the emails and private messages sitting in all the varying inboxes of the world, waiting. this last one is of particular issue because often the messages i have received but not responded to are of actual importance to me - they bother me somehow, making me think of them both in waking and in dreaming, but sadly my brain and my hands cannot seem to find the space to set aside and create the interesting, thought-out responses i believe these messages deserve. also, most often the time that i might have spent doing that gets carved out instead for myself so that i can sit with my own issues and roll them around on my tongue, desperately trying to figure it all out. and there seems to be a never-ending supply of my own issues to be mulled over and dealt with. there is never enough time to put into having all the right relationships with everyone each day - my children, my husband, my immediate family, my close friends, my local friends and all those distant, far-off people (both in time and in space) whose emails i do not seem to return, but of whom thoughts invade my dreams. to those people whose messages i have yet to reply to, i offer an apology - i am sorry. there is so much i want to say, but never the time, it seems, to say it, and i am grateful that you thought of me and took the time to write. i did not forget you.
once i fully wake up and begin movement about the house to complete said five million tiny tasks (first change sebastian's diaper), my thoughts move elsewhere, in unexpected directions. i remember my dreams and think of things semi-related to other thoughts: ranting about cesarean sections to old college dorm mates in my dream reminds me of the midwifery meeting i have on wednesday and the mothering meeting on thursday and also of mothering and then of Mothering dot com and if the girl who messages me will circumcise her son and the argument yesterday with my father about why it's a human rights abuse and then how angry i get about so many things and remembering telling the other women jon's new year's resolution to eat organic and how i want to buy him new clothes but now he's insisting on fair trade and then class struggle and the need to support what we believe in with our dollars spent and how that supports actual people somewhere who pick grapes or harvest cotton or dye textiles or sew garments and how they have children to feed also and probably not the money to do a whole lot of family planning the way we can or maybe i'm making gross assumptions about what the lives of immigrant women and men are really like, but clearly being paid a fair wage is terribly important and jon wondered the other day what precisely a fair wage was and i think of our honeymoon since i was switching the wedding photos last night from one album to another and i remember standing on the pool deck of the holiday inn superdome watching the fourth of july fireworks and then wonder what standing on that pool deck would be like now with the ruins of new orleans below still rotting and stinking and there is the greatest modern american example of class struggle and institutionalized racism - that cesspool of the dead and dying stranded by the american government on television while their wealthier neighbors lounge in faraway hotel rooms or cities with family members or friends and i wonder how that could happen and if it could happen to me - what would it take and what could i possibly do to stop it, but i remember also that i am white and i am middle class and thus protected by my privilege, protected by my knowledge and my family, by my education and ownership of things, but still i do not feel immune, i do not feel precisely safe, which makes me think of all those voting mothers in the last presidential election who were terrified of terror and thought that this president would somehow protect them by cutting spending to his own programs and giving away no-bid rebuilding contracts in iraq to his friends and i think how not like them i am though i appear to be the same by demographic classification - instead i am young and well-beyond liberal, i think karl marx has taken up residence in my brain and he just keeps repeating how it all comes down to class struggle over and over and over again. i have not ever read more than an excerpt of marx. i don't have a university degree. i really am not a checklisted demographic, the sum of all i buy. am i in a struggle? i feel so outside of it, outside of the masses and their thoughts and purchasing tendencies and their voting tendencies and asinine human rights abuses and all the other crazed bullshit i imagine the whole of middle america participating in. as much as i am outside of it, however, i am apart of it with my own big box store purchases littering my house despite my efforts to curb such spending. i cannot eradicate these indiscretions from my history with this buying power and all these imagined needs filling me up. i am so much still a part of this culture in this era and i very much enjoy the comforts afforded me by this history and the industrialization of this land despite how it's left all the midwest a wasteland of empty warehouses and factories, the dirt and pollution still here, dotted with occasional still-belching smokestacks reflecting cumulus clouds of toxin in the dark water of the river, pigeons mumbling through and around... how do i stop these visions? these thoughts and images of all lain waste by the excesses of capitalism, by the omnipresent bottom line are juxtaposed in grotesque mad-house fashion with the clean white faces of my children playing with curious george blocks in their new christmas clothes and i sipping organic, fair-trade coffee, eating free-range eggs from brown shells, surfing the internet or writing in my new journal whose cover celebrates art history which i studied in college and my husband reading obsessively thousands upon thousands of pages trying frantically to retain everything to pass his comprehensive exams in april so he can finish his phd and we can continue this middle class wet dream... how do i reconcile my ideals and my reality, my fears and my anxiety with the truth of my daily life? how do i come to understand what i do and who and what i am in the context of a world gone mad on the one hand and a world nestled comfortably in this old house in this old neighborhood on the other? how can i be what i am and know that it all rests on the backs of the poor? how can i want to give my children every opportunity and yet know that it may very well be at the expense of the children of others who are less white, less rich, less privileged? how can this not drive me mad? what is my role in the world? which world do i exist in? what i am actually witness to is so opposed to what i know to actually exist. the worlds of the rich and the white are so insulated from so many others - how can i let this be? i feel so small and so vulnerable. i feel - so helpless and scared and angry. and yet i go about my life and complete the five million tiny tasks in mundane repetition and revolving absurdity.
"everything is the same even if it's different. but our everyday mind forgets this. we think everything is separate. limited. i'm over here. you're over there. which is true, but it's not the whole truth because we're all connected." when i get that, i can relax "because everything you could ever want or be, you already have and are. "