There is a Season, Turn

I’m tempted to patch up a big piece of duct tape over the mouth of my writing voice because I have friends – the ones who are really really good, the ones with discipline, who don’t have lazy writing ticks – I see them display an edge of crazy that reeks of bare skin and frizzy hair on a desert plateau. And though they are what I love best about the whole wide world, and though I want to be like them with every stitch of myself, today it scares me to death that I would display myself that way.

Living with these boys in this new stage of baby-on-a-hip and with the new eyes of my free-thirties (the beautiful uncool), I feel the spinning, perfectly upright top begin to stabilize. There comes a slower reflective leaning. I know that soon the edges will circle wide and begin to skim the grasses, and from here, I figure that then I’ll have to deal with the grasses. I’ll be showing them here, uncut, full of weeds. I’ll show the full range of a maturing woman, how she leans and has to deal.

Imagine me alone while Seth flies over the sea. Spread out are the tiny papers, my lists. I will never sleep on purpose without him. Part of my balance has been learned with his weight. Rhythms are set to him.

And it’s ok. It’s ok. This is how it’s supposed to be.

Not long from now, the spinning deepens to a roll, and maturity lands in the perfect place of childlikeness, strawberry seeds, dirt under fingernails, the smell of mothballs in hats that remind us. Once a dance floor was all ours.

Do I display for you the full unhindered range of a woman in her spinning years, the years for which all the momentum of youth was made?

Of course I do. Of course. But some days are not for the showing. Some days, all we get to do is spin.

photo credit
About me


What’s Up: New Year and a New Plan
January 13, 2017
An Uncooked Story
January 10, 2016
Celebrating Wild in the Hollow
August 04, 2015
Do it.
January 21, 2014
Revolution: A Blessing Over My Own Book
October 23, 2013
Begotten: Notes from The Creed
October 15, 2013
The Woo
September 25, 2013
On the Establishment
March 22, 2013
When Your Writing Doesn’t Fit: Kingdom Come
February 27, 2013


Reply January 18, 2012

I love this post and the vulnerability. I totally identify with the thoughts on your writing voice... but don't you dare patch up your words! :) Your reflective learning is teaching us all, too.

- Mollie

Shannon @nwaMotherlode
Reply January 18, 2012

Today it's my head that's spinning! I can't wait to see you at Blissdom, Amber! Funny that we have to leave the state to visit ;)

Katharine Moran
Reply January 18, 2012

Love this one. Thanks for writing and sharing your beautiful words.

Shelly Miller
Reply January 19, 2012

I read this twice, once in the too early morning hours when all is quiet. Then I thought about what you said while I made lunches, drove my kids to school, on the way back home in the quiet. Then I read it again and loved it even more. Your writing most always lingers for awhile in my mind and I like that about you! And even though I am past the "beautful uncool" I think what you say here is beautiful truth no matter what stage.

Darcy Wiley
Reply January 19, 2012

So much to dig into here.... The writer's self-doubt and thinking that there are deeper thoughts and better words coming out of someone else's pen. (Don't we all get thinking that way?!!) The seeming ordinariness of a woman at this stage of life (i.e., tattoos covered by Lands End sweaters) facing the wilderness writer who has free space to let the genius flow. The images of the momentum of youth all leading up to this spinning and then how you'll go childlike again with the dance floor all to yourselves. Good stuff in good words. No duct tape, please. :)

Reply January 19, 2012

And some of us stay too dizzy to even contemplate writing a post about it. ;) Homeschooling teens with toddlers and nursing babes keeps my blog screaming silent for long stints. I'll just point my readers here where the words at least are finding the paper - even if they are in the shape of a circle.

diana trautwein
Reply January 19, 2012

Awww, Amber. No duct tape, okay? Praying for you and your guys as Seth leaves tomorrow, that you might find sleep, even without his balancing weight, that you might still feel joy in the journey of these uncool beautiful days. When I took this job, 120 miles from where my husband's business was centered, he began to commute from Tuesday to Thursday each week, staying first with his parents, then with our daughter and her family. He did that for TEN YEARS, until he retired two years ago. It was both the hardest and the best part of my career years in this place. I did have trouble sleeping - our home is on an acre, no streetlights, lots of coyotes howling in the night - and I hated that part. But I gained so much knowledge about myself, I began to enjoy solitude for the first time in my life, I drew closer to God in deeper and deeper ways. But - I did not have children in my care during these years (except for the occasional grandchild) and that makes your burden-bearing quite a lot different. May you find moments of gift in these days of solo-parenting. And please - keep writing in this space as you are able. Your voice is beautiful and necessary.

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