I am Dreaming

I’m hurt, this body’s wearing thin

A beautiful mistake I’m living in

I’m tired, sometimes I fantasize

They push me out to sea

Coins on my eyes

Family, friends say goodbye

Say goodbye

I’m hurt, not hurt enough to die

See I was born to raise, born to fight

I’m tired, not tired enough to sleep

So devil on my chest don’t sing to me

But take my breath, let me be

Oh let me be

-Lyrics from Flags by SYML

I’ve been dreaming about an adventure. It doesn’t help that I’ve been reading To Shake the Sleeping Self by Jedidiah Jenkins. This book about his travels from Oregon to Patagonia on a bicycle are leaving me with so many feelings. I mean, man. How insane is that journey? I can barely ride a bike around my neighborhood and honestly, that is being generous. I can barely ride a bike down our driveway.

I am dreaming about something better. Something that fills my heart and soul. Something that is not the same damn thing I have been doing every day of my life. I have never lived anywhere but here. I have traveled very little. My family would go to Maine frequently when I was a kid. A couple of years ago I spent a month in Florida and I spent a few days in Pennsylvania in May. How am I supposed to know this is where I belong when that is all I have seen of this country, of this world?

I am dreaming of fresh produce, even in the summer. Wearing clothing that is not so suffocating. January is cold and lonely, dark and isolating. Aside from February, it is my least favorite month of the year. I long for the warmth of spring all winter long. I am dreaming of living somewhere that doesn’t leave me missing an entire six month period of time.

I am dreaming of going to Mexico. I want to see the great Monarch Migration. What an incredible experience that would be. We raise and release Monarchs each year. This year we let close to 200 fly free, out of our dining room, to migrate to Mexico. To see the butterflies from the super generation arriving at their destination would bring me such an amazing amount of joy.

I am dreaming of peace. Of quiet. I am dreaming of the ability to handle stress, to have no pain. I am dreaming of the feeling of a warm cup of coffee in a quaint coffee shop with the sun pouring in large windows, tables that don’t tip, a journal full of chicken scratch, and a well loved book. I am dreaming of bubble baths in soaker tubs. I am dreaming of lightness. Freedom.

I am dreaming of wellness. I am dreaming of mental health. I am dreaming of my children, happy, playing, joyous. I am dreaming of a yard full of gardens. I am dreaming of not being allergic to my dogs anymore, having a yard miraculously not full of dog poop, and a fence so the chickens can follow us around like they did once before. I am dreaming of the sound of birds in spring. I am dreaming of the taste of a bowl of Ben and Jerry’s, the windows open, the sun setting, a warm breeze brushing my skin.

I am dreaming of this all with the perfect soundtrack playing in my ears, blocking the sounds of reality. I am dreaming of all of this while I have so much of what other people are dreaming of. I am dreaming of all of this because I live in a constant state of flight mode and I am dreaming of not being in a constant state of flight mode.

I am dreaming of a happy marriage, full of laughter. I am dreaming of who we were, before I got in the way. I am dreaming of my husband’s smile, the corners of his blue eyes crinkling, the way they did that day in Starbucks while we drank coffee and got to know each other and my heart was so full of love I took a picture to keep that moment forever. I am dreaming of the days of being a team. I am dreaming of the days of him calling into work so we could spend the day in bed. I am dreaming of unconditional love.

I am dreaming of life before everything got so damn hard. I am dreaming of life before chronic illness (though I think it was always there, just less noisy). I am dreaming of the future. I am dreaming of being able to breathe without this awful feeling sitting on my chest. I am dreaming of being able to sleep. I am dreaming of being able to use my hands without pain. I am dreaming of finding answers.

I am dreaming of finding answers.

I am dreaming of finding answers because I can’t do this for much longer. I have been saying that for six years. I can’t do this much longer. But now he is saying it too. I can’t do this for much longer. This has been so difficult. I am dreaming of a cloudless blue sky. Grass under my back, tickling my bare skin. I am dreaming of my favorite dog next to me, her head across my belly, the sun warming us both. I am dreaming that she is still here and not gone too soon. I am dreaming of belly laughter I haven’t heard in so long.

I am dreaming of a warm loaf of bread, fresh from the oven, kneaded by my grandmother’s knotted hands, a slab of butter melting on a slice freshly cut. I am dreaming of questions I should have asked my grandfather. I am dreaming of the relationship I will never have with my father. I am dreaming of a different history.

I am a dreamer. I am a lover. I am an empath. I am just on the border of extroversion. I am a highly sensitive person. I love the smell of fire, the feel of the pages of a written-in journal, the smell of a bookstore. I love the way the sun feels on my skin, the way my heart feels when I am happy.

I love the way it feels when I have a good day, a rare, rare good day, when I can laugh along with my children. When I can hug my husband. When I can sit without pain, when I can sleep. I love the way it feels when I hear the perfect song to sum up my perfect day and I love when I hear the perfect song to sum up my awful day. I love the vision I have of a happy family, my happy family, except for the part that I am not in it.

I am dreaming of living.

It’s Been a While

I haven’t written a blog in a couple of years now but I once wrote two of them. One was all about my adventures in motherhood and the other was about our homeschooling life.

That was before, though. For a while I was really lost and I guess I still am, a little. This path is starting to feel more familiar some days and then other days I feel as if I am walking in the woods in the middle of the night with no flashlight, no moonlight, and I keep walking straight into trees. I have come to accept certain pieces of this life as it is but it doesn’t make the days easier.

There is a large piece of me that doesn’t know if I can continue to keep my kids home with me. I feel that I should be able to because this journey should end any day now but it doesn’t and I still can’t tolerate stress. And you know what kids are? Little packages of stress bombs with a shoddy timer. Will it explode first thing in the morning before eyes are even adjusted to the light? Or perhaps mid day, on the way out of the house? It almost always goes off in the grocery store or any other public place where I am forced to hold it together and not cry. It often goes off at bedtime, at the unfairness of needing to brush teeth. The timer needs work, is what I’m saying, but these little packages are also unreliable themselves and anyway, I am learning I can’t count on a damn thing I expect to actually happen the way I expect it to.

I really want to keep them home, as stressful as it is. I still hold strong feelings about their abilities to learn so much on their own if given the tools. The freedom to explore as long as they want, spend as much time outdoors or indoors as they want, the freedom to eat when they are hungry and to pee when they have to pee, I mean who doesn’t want that? But every day that goes by I feel like I am failing them. I feel like I am not giving them the opportunities they deserve. I feel like I am handing them tablets instead of experiences and each night I close my eyes wonder how much more can I screw up in this life?

But. BUT. I am trying to change that inner dialogue. Like yes, I had envisioned going and doing all sorts of really awesome and interesting things with them and then I was doing all sorts of really awesome and interesting things with them but you know what? They didn’t think they were awesome or interesting and didn’t give a shit that it cost a million dollars to do it can we please go home and play our Kindles now? Oh. Right. Child led learning means mostly parents learn to back off. Mostly. It also means to stop beating myself up with ideals.

The youngest of the stress bombs is very difficult to read and I never know what is best for him or how to plan a day around him. I can’t bring him anywhere during the middle of the day, or most of the day since the middle of the day in this case is from about 10:30 am to 3:30 pm. I can’t bring him because he has started napping again and will fall asleep anywhere from 10:45 to 1:00 and who the hell can plan around that?

I certainly can’t.

So anyway, I’m back, blogging, writing the things that are hard or funny or just sad. On my old blog I wrote one time about my oldest getting legitimately pissed off at me because I didn’t put a penis on the LEGO guy he requested I build him. He was inconsolable. You will get some of those stories here.

Being at this computer, my fingers dancing over the keys, wow. I forgot how this feels. So, it’s been a while, but I think I may be back for good this time. Or at least as long as I need this practice to serve me in this season of healing.

Until next time.

A Quick Hello

Hey there. I’m Tristan. I am from the Berkshires in Western MA. I’ve heard it is a pretty remarkable place, but I haven’t traveled enough to fully agree. I know people have traveled far and wide and still, they have come back here, to the Berkshires. I will have to take their word for it.

I am a homeschooling mom to three beautiful and crazy children and am very passionate about radical homeschooling. Or eclectic homeschooling. Whatever kind of homeschooling we do, I dig it.

I love photography, the weather in the spring, and the way a cucumber tastes fresh from the garden with a sprinkle of salt. I’m a recovering ice cream addict. I love chocolate. I am a calligrapher, (wannabe) hand lettering artist, avid reader, and long time writer. When I was a little girl I dreamed of being a writer some day. I also dreamed of being a mother. I also loved letters. I loved typography. I loved letter forms. I would study packaging, newspapers, book covers, magazine covers, and anything else that had letters on it. I didn’t know what I was even looking at, truly, until a few years ago. I’m rambling; you’ll get used to that.

I suffer from chronic illness and some other things I am working to figure out. This makes it difficult, at times, to do the things that I love. I am trying to make room in my life to nurture these loves. This was born as part of that inner nurturing.

This blog will be about whatever I am holding in my heart and in my mind. It will be motherhood, homeschooling, things we love, chronic illness, and probably food. It will be real and it will be raw and it will be honest.

I hope you will hang out, for a while, and get to know me. If you relate or need a friend, feel free to reach out to me. I am always happy to talk.

Thank you and much love,

Tristan