We are too big in our brains, too little in our bodies.
This is what I tell myself, at least, when Georg takes Sophie on a hike so I can have time to write. Instead of writing, I make a green smoothie, I wash the dishes and sweep the floors, I bake two loaves of bread (one for us, one for another neighbor), I make roasted red pepper spread (for the bread).
I justify, because I can't focus while the apartment is still messy, and we didn't yet have a decent dinner planned. And, telling myself that working attentively is an essential part of inspiration, I don't even listen to music while I knead the dough. Lately, this feels like a massive feat, as I have noticed a lethargic itch for stimulation this week. Instagram, news, podcasts, anything to keep me sedated, to allow my full collapse into mental lethargy. I think it's the future which stretches too undefined to inspire love or urgency- no end in sight and no deadlines to keep me awake.
Noise, noise, noise, I seem to be pleading.
But as I knead I am silent, priming myself for inspiration. And besides, I think, how can I love him if I can't hold him in silence? I have been pondering this lately: the question of how to love more deeply. I have often tried to define love as if it were something to be held up to the light and observed. It's not. It's the sacred ground between two people, before observation and speech, which keeps them level and facing, dwelling deeply. This ground is tilled and cultivated constantly, even for those who seem to love easily.
So I hold Georg in silence while I knead bread, trying to imagine his life compassionately. This is prayer: compassionate imagining. Holding a person before your face and blessing their pain, willing their joy. When he comes home, the cold light trickling in from the door, I will not just open my arms to Sophie, exclaiming how much I missed her as she runs to me. I will open my heart to him too, trying to love him with the untethered abandon of arms throwing open, gathering joy and offering comfort.