Insomnia, Inspiration, and The Moons: A Review of Poetry

I wake up from half-sleep
haunted
by images of closet-starved idea children,
beaten by electrical cords and made
to sleep in cramped corners
on cots
or coats
if they’re lucky.
When were they exiled?
Did it happen one by one?
And why do I wait, anxiously
for the sleepy pied piper to come and lull away
the rat-child-poems,
so that I can dream easily
and forget
that I drifted
or strayed
or fell
so far from the Source
of inspiration.

Perhaps I shouldn’t have gone. But I couldn’t miss the opportunity: 3pm on a Sunday. To reconnect with a few classmates from high school and the English teacher that prompted me to graduate from high school with the equivalent of 6 years worth of English classes AND THEN go on to be an English Lit major in college before realizing that I DIDN’T want to teach…before realizing that I did.

If any of that makes sense.

The amazing part was the re-connection, the re-inspiration toward all things written and being able to see myself even more infusing my class with purposeful writing that will aid in their college transition. One high school classmate lives locally, with a son, and is in social work. We instantly connected again, and I was happy that while we had been loose friends in high school, there just lacked the emotional drama of one of the innermost circle of friends might have had.

And the poet.

Powerful.

The imagery in The Moons spoke volumes, and there’s something magical about hearing the words spoken aloud by the writer creator. Almost like bearing witness when God spoke the world into existence.

And afterward, the poet, the re-acquaintance and a few others, ran between fat Seattle raindrops to a local coffee shop to indulge in their velvet foam lattes. We talked about being mothers, being working moms and trying to find balance (as I explained to one, non-mom, why I was at the reading minus Potamus, even though it was the weekend). We talked about education, for the poet’s day job is the high school version of mine. The social worker and I made loose plans for happy hour sometime in the next few weeks.

We didn’t talk about writing.

Clearly I know the poet writes, and don’t know if the Social Worker does.

What I do know, is that I do not. Not pen-to-paper soul writing like I used to.

My feelings about it are complex.

In one vein, I long to spend those hours, or scrape together seconds to jot something down (even unsafely, like, while driving down the freeway) so that the words can create something true. I wish to be less distracted by shiny blue/white screens that flash instant distraction and updates. I want to keep record, somehow, of my life both inside and outside of motherhood. And even on the way home from the reading, an entire book idea came, fully formed (in big thought) into my mind, and the “simple” act would be to somehow get it from brain to paper.

The other part of me is scared.

Because writing and mental illness are blood-brothers, and I have been trying to live a quiet, simple type life.

A Whole New World

For some reason the lyrics to Alladin’s “A Whole New World” keep running through my mind, especially the first line “I can show you a world, shinging, shimmering, splendid…” Surely these lines weren’t written about a mall’s bathroom, but alas, my new found mommyness is having me look at the world in a whole new way.

I have been ushered into this whole new world of mall-going-with-baby by an old friend from collge. She has an almost 2 year old daugher and finds that drinking Starbucks in the mall play area is a much easier way to get in conversation than doing it an actual Starbucks. Probably less shattered coffee mugs and temper tantrums upsetting snobby coffee patrons. To be honest, before Potamus was born I wasn’t even aware that the mall had a play place, let alone that it would be strategically placed next to a Starbucks. And a maternity store. And 4 children’s clothing stores. A Hello Kitty store. AND a candy store. Yeah, somebody was thinking in the strategery of building this wing of the mall. I am seriously questioning my lack of observational skills, but then again, perhaps my brain needs to compartamentalize things and realized that before now, the play-place in the mall was as relavent to my life as those pushy dead sea salt scrub sellers.

But beyond these already amazing new learned experiences was the cherry on top of the whole sundae: the family “lounge.” Not to be confused with your run-of-the-mill family bathroom, that is really a glorified handicapped bathroom with a changing table, this lounge lived up to its name. Wide enough stall for a deluxe jogging stroller, a television with leather chairs AND toys and magazines for kids/parents to read, resembled a chic doctor’s office more than a public restroom. And, for breastfeeding mamas like me, the best part was a few private nursing stations with a leather chair and a curtain to pull for privacy. While I am not opposed to nursing in public with my nursing cover, the fact that there is a private place to step away for a few minutes before resuming shopping seems downright heavenly. In fact, while I am not much of a mall shopper, I might just start perusing the stores simply to be able to use that family lounge.

Wow, admitting that makes me sound really sleep deprived.

Clearly I will chalk this up to things-I-never-thought-I-would-do-or-think-while-having-kids list that I am creating. But seriously, this whole new world of things catering toward parents is downright flabbergasting.