Volcanic glass quakes and churns and boils within the central core of my being.
My eyes want to glaze over, my hands want to dig into hair and tears beg to flow down my bent legs, hugged closely into my chest.
The burning of all the things I want to say eats a dangerous crater near my heart.
The words that I let erupt, though, are all wrong and make everything worse—they make me worse.
Occasionally, a chunk of my volcanic-glass soul breaks off and, in it, I see who I am.
They say that obsidian—true volcanic glass—offers a person insight into her authentic self, even though this glimpse might not be what’s desired.
But my volcanic heart shows me enough.
I tried so hard today to be a good mom.
Today was a day full of special, little things intertwined together in an attempt to make a little girl happy. And yet today was the kind of day when nothing seemed to work. Each little moment was accepted and enjoyed graciously, but every waking second filling the gaps in between—what I like to call life—felt as poisoned as that ill-fated apple—I felt poisoned; polluted.
My chest expands and becomes concave as my breathing settles into normalcy and my fingers dance across my laptop keyboard.
This solitary confinement—in my bedroom with my space heater as white noise—loosens my volcanic core, but my sun—my beloved, occasionally overwhelming child—has begun to set for the evening and my heart now feels brittle and cold as ice.
And that’s the thing about motherhood—we’re not entirely free to be ourselves, because we should be cautious and courteous about what’s best for our babies.
Although it’s in her best interest, certainly, to have a mother who expresses her own feelings and who encapsulates a real human being, it’s also more than appropriate to maintain some sort of acting ability, for the sake of her own tender emotions.
Yet, I think that’s the other thing: I’ve never exactly been a tender sort of girl.
Yes, I’m tender and fragile and wildly soft in many ways typically feminine, but I—like many young and old girls—am also wildly fierce and strong and capable entirely of masculinity—more so than many men—and why should we be so contained within our girlhood to not explore this…bitch?
Regardless, I feel myself closing down for the night. The entrancement of playing this mothering game has been more than enough for one day; while I need my turn to dance with my alphabet-littered keys, I wouldn’t dance with any other partner so often as I do with her.
Note: this is a chapter in my latest serialized book venture that I, initially, sat down to write as a blog.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photo: courtesy of the author
Photo credit: Flickr: sushi q.