I’ve been thinking about an image from Annie Dillard’s A Writing Life. She says that writing is like a caterpillar crawling up a blade of grass, coming to the top, feeling for the next step, and thinking “Oh no, end of the world! ” But then it finds another blade of grass and continues the journey.
Writing may be like that sometimes. And living is like that too. Especially for us right now. Another weekend is here, and miraculously, the world has not ended, and we have apparently found the next blade of grass. Peter is still enrolled in Connections Academy. We are all still well, under the same roof. We played a nice game of Bonanza, all four of us, last night around the table.
But that isn’t to say we haven’t panicked several times during the week, like that caterpillar. Man, if we could just learn to relax. All four of us. We’re a crazy family of caterpillars all at the top of grass blades shouting, “Oh no! End of the world!” You’d think we’d learn from experience, but we don’t seem to.
But we do have some good excuses for the panicky feelings. It seems we might be getting an offer on our house. Monday a realtor is coming over on behalf of someone (man, apparently I don’t even know how to spell realtor, because the computer is underlining it in red!). We’ve never sold a house before. And once the actual talk of money gets underway, we really do need to be wise and get through it well, because we don’t exactly have piles of money to make mistakes with. And then there’s Peter’s existential crisis (at least I know how to spell that) and Joseph’s resurfacing distress over the fact that we’re really moving.
It’s all coming down to the wire now. Now is the time to take a deep breath. Now is the time to calmly feel for the next step, the next blade of grass. It’s out there. We’ll find it.