Waking Up

I wake to sleep and take my waking slow…”Theodore Roethkee

It’s about waking up. A child wakes up over and over again, and notices that she’s living. She dreams along, loving the exuberant life of the senses, in love with beauty and power, oblivious to herself—and then suddenly, bingo, she wakes up and feels herself alive. She notices her own awareness. And she notices that she is set down here, mysteriously, in a going world.” –Annie Dillard

I’ve always felt that the best part of being a writer is that learning is constant. Intellectual and spiritual growth is an expected byproduct of my career. Living the examined life—that’s my job. Annie Dillard described the process of growing up as a “waking up.” I remember that process as a child but truly, it’s the same process I go through every day as a writer. I’m waking up, all the time, and making new connections in the world around me.

There are, however, areas of life that I’ve never been all that interested in—things I’ve never especially explored because, well, meh.

But my 3 ½ year old? He lives for those very things.

Currently, he’s obsessed with Greek myths and history, Egyptian mummies, outer space and spaceships. I’m learning about these things that I never had the remotest interest in and I’m waking up. Now I know that Pegasus sprang from Medusa’s body after Perseus slew her. I know that Andromeda, the galaxy, is also the name of the woman Persus took as a wife, and that he found her naked and chained to a rock off the coast of Ethiopia because her father sacrificed her to a sea monster. I know all the twelve labors of Hercules. I also know more than I ever thought I’d know about the worship of cats in ancient Egypt, the process of mummification, the looting of Egyptian tombs, King Tut.

This is interesting stuff, guys. I had no idea.

I’m waking up.

Being a mother is just as interesting as being a writer. Thank goodness.

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