Pieces of Me

Walking across the quad of the campus of my alma mater yesterday, where I’m taking a weeklong institute on writing, my feet felt tipped.  No, not tipsy, but tipped, as in leaning outward.  Now as someone who is a diagnosed overpronator, this is not a sensation I am used to.  Must just be because I haven’t worn these sandals in awhile, I thought.

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When I reached the classroom, I felt my foot roll and thought I’d stepped on something.  I bent my leg a la checking for dog poo and saw that the rubber sole of my sandal had started to disintegrate.  What I’d stepped on was a small wedge of the one that had made up the bottom of my shoe.  As the day wore on, a pile of rolled-up rubber collected under my chair and a Hansel and Gretel crumb trail of what had worked itself off in the hallway led me to class this morning.

I was pissed.  I had paid good money for these brand-name sensible shoes.  My husband did point out that I most likely bought them when expecting my first child about nine years ago, but still.  My father still has shoes he wore when I was a babe.  What the heck!

Shoe travesty aside, it was disorienting to find pieces of me scattered all around the various paths I’d taken yesterday – and left behind unbeknownst to me.

But then, looking back over this entire week, that seems de rigueur.

The first time I sat down to write this, I shut the door.  My now-six year old opened it and asked if she could rest while I wrote.  Fine.  But the door stayed open and I could hear the television, computer, and talk radio playing simultaneously downstairs.  Then she started explaining, in great, glorious detail, some drawings she’d done.  Beautiful.  But I can’t form words and listen to them at the same time.  Then my three year-old started a full-on high-pitched fit about the television being shut off for dinner.  Downstairs.  Behind the couch.  Far removed from me and yet still ear shattering.  Then my husband called up the stairs that dinner was ready.

And now this, my second time trying to write it, two daughters camped out in the room until I complained of noise and one went into her room, closing the door behind her in a huff.

I’ve attended class all day each day since Monday, leaving campus each day rife with ideas and inspiration, which I need to shove on the backburner of collecting my kids at various family members’ houses throughout the state, trekking home, figuring out dinner with food I didn’t have time to shop for, hugging and kissing for lost time, trying to relax and catch up on my sleep deficit and finish my homework at the same time.  All three of the kids contracted a stomach bug, which not only made me worry about them, but the various family members who still lovingly offered to take them.

There are pieces of me scattered all over the place.  My house, my car, our other car I had to take when I transported all three children at the same time, my purse, in the mosquito that bit me as I cleaned the puke off the bottom of the car and then flew into the woods by the side of the road, the carpeted hallway of Adams’ Library, the windowless classroom, the roads I’ve rushed down, the hearts of my children, the imagination of my husband, the dreams of my soul.

 

I’m not a crumbly mess, but it’s hard not to feel worn thin.

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6 Comments

  1. danielle

     /  June 27, 2013

    Not worn thin, worn well by those who take your pieces with them. I’ll take one too!

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    • Jennifer Butler Basile

       /  June 30, 2013

      Worn well! That is better, I suppose. And yes, I do owe you a piece very soon!

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      Reply
  2. karenbowden

     /  June 27, 2013

    Ah reminds me of the well and that at the end of the day to replenish it 🙂
    Beautiful writing,

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    • Jennifer Butler Basile

       /  June 30, 2013

      Thank you! I must remember to go to that well often!

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  3. Sorry you went through this, except that you ended up with a very powerful post. So there’s good in everything. Here’s to one more day of keeping it together – you got this 🙂

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    • Jennifer Butler Basile

       /  June 30, 2013

      Thank you, Pat. For joining me in the windowless classroom, for your words of encouragement, and reading! Wonderful to meet you this week.

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      Reply

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