Just Write ~ The Second

September 20, 2011

If I were a box of cereal or a container of spice or a bag of brown sugar in a pantry, I’d be at the end of my shelf life.


It feels like all of my nerve endings are exposed. I’ve got that everything-feels-like-sandpaper-rubbing-at-my-skin feeling.


Too much not enough.

Not enough sleep, clarity, writing, health, time…

A mother’s verse in every song is love-pain.

I want all of this that hurts so much. I even want more of it when the day is done and quiet or when the womb is never going to do its stretching work ever again.  Even though the quiet is good and more is not an option, I reach for more love-pain.

In the dawn I say, it’s too quiet everywhere. Even when all I’ve wanted all day and all night is a buffer from The Loud. Suddenly quiet just doesn’t fit right. Quiet is the impending sound of Wrong. Something must be wrong. Even when everything is fine, quiet calls for sound to return because it is life.

My body home will stay quiet, no more new little people from womb to meet.  One day the walls around me will empty out too and leave my room spaces quiet. Every mother seems to feel itchy and exposed in those days, too. Children grown.

Where I live now, the quiet is never-lasting. So I sit in the earliest of morning. It is the only time it can be like this–could hear a pin drop–and it is like a ticking time bomb. It comes to an abrupt end so fast like such a short fuse. But I try it on and I sit and write and it’s the only time I can. And then my nerves are more raw because I could have used the sleep in the Writing Time.

But I must.

I move the keurig to the garage, no lie. To try not to wake the other four with its coffee making. I fuss at the dog if her tail bangs the couch too loudly and I open the fridge with more care than wrapping a gift. I am all nerves and nearly completely incapable of staying quiet myself, with my clumsy jumpiness and over-alert status.  I am sleep-deprived and on fire to watch words from left to right, appearing here and there and all the places I pour myself to page-screen.

I must because if words are everywhere, shared in release of writing and reading, then there is a clapping and snapping, clicking connection that we need.

Now here it comes in little feet awake, the noise returning with a pound pound pound to the wood floor and a Hiiii Mommyyyy. The tail starts hitting the couch and the toys start banging and the dishes clattering. Things are pulled from the pantry cupboard and the words have changed me.




If you don’t read all of this, please read the BOLD parts…

This is the second installment of Just Write, an exercise in free writing your ordinary and extraordinary moments. {Please see the details here.}  I would love to read your freely written words so join me and link up below. You can add the url of your post at any time. Just be sure it’s a link to your Just Write post, not to your main page. There are really no rules, besides Just Write! (Then link back to this post in your post so people know where to go if they’d like to join in.) (Any links not following those two guidelines will be deleted.) 

Also. Please take a moment to visit someone else who has linked up! It’s a really good way to meet new writers and get inspired by the meaning behind their moments. Word?

Thank you!

Psst: One more thing…you can Grab the Button if you’d like. The code is over there on the sidebar. See it?

Link on up, friends. I’m so glad you’re here! If you don’t know how, email me and I’ll help! heatheroftheeo (at) gmail (dot) com.



Erin September 20, 2011 at 7:18 am

Beautiful. I know this. The all too quiet quiet that you want to last, but you don’t.
Erin recently posted..Hallelujah, By and By

Corinne September 20, 2011 at 7:19 am

We used to have to hold the keurig down and cover it with a towel or something to muffle the noise! No joke! Our last place was a tiny apartment and the kitchen was barely 16 feet away from the bedrooms. Crazy. Funny how we long for quiet and then we can’t relish in it. I wonder if it’s ever really possible after having children. Even twenty years down the road. We shall see… :)
Corinne recently posted..Stumbling

Krista September 20, 2011 at 7:28 am

Reading this, I’m nodding my head, feeling every moment, hearing every noise that’s not really as loud as it sounds. Knowing that your moment of quiet is going to end. And knowing how wonderful and loud THE loud can be.

Christine@Coffees & Commutes September 20, 2011 at 7:32 am

I wish I had the motivation to get up and write before everyone else is up – I think I would love the silence of the really early morning. Maybe I should try it this weekend.

Hang in there lady.
Christine@Coffees & Commutes recently posted..The Master Bedroom

Kathleen Basi September 20, 2011 at 7:36 am

I must chuckle despite the beauty of the words, because as I read them, my sick, whiny, runny-nose, cracker-eating, bickering little noisy ones interrupted me every third word, and after two nights of waking up 5 (7? 9? Really don’t know) with them, having poured out my frustrations onto computer screen this morning myself, I just wish for more quiet, too!

Jamie September 20, 2011 at 7:37 am

Oh, I hope and pray you can have some sleep soon <3

Bridget September 20, 2011 at 7:38 am

I can’t do the mornings. I’ve tried. I fail. My Writing Time is at night, and yet similarly to you I could have, should have chosen sleep. But I just can’t. If I’d tried to sleep, my mind would have had words swirling around in my head, forcing me to think.think.think.
Bridget recently posted..Ordained.

Amanda September 20, 2011 at 7:57 am

Oh my, I’ve had a morning just like this so many times. Beautiful writing.
Amanda recently posted..Mommy is sick, and the world keeps turning.

nicole September 20, 2011 at 8:00 am

I think we all do this with something in our lives. I don’t write (much), but I too often choose reading over sleep. The reading feeds me. I need it. But I need sleep too.
nicole recently posted..The Good Kind of Noise–Just Write

julie moore September 20, 2011 at 8:18 am

Aww the Keurig. I do love it and thankful I don’t have little ones that I have to keep it quiet for now. Loved your description and perfect detail of a mother’s feelings. Quiet time was so hard to find when my kids were small. They are grown now but i so miss those days even though they were hard at times. great post.

Jade @ Tasting Grace September 20, 2011 at 8:52 am

Oh, this is a feeling I wish I knew. But no pitter-patter down the hallways yet. There is at least tail-thumping though and that makes me happy.
Jade @ Tasting Grace recently posted..Virtual Coffee

Amy @ Never-True Tales September 20, 2011 at 8:52 am

Oh, the dog tail thump! I shush it every day! I relish my early (quiet) mornings, but you’re right: silence is the sound of wrong. (But sometimes, so wrong it’s right.)
Amy @ Never-True Tales recently posted..Novel writing 2.0

Sarah@EmergingMummy September 20, 2011 at 8:54 am

Evelynn was up at 4 this morning and it was just us two out here for this exercise. I hear you, sister.
Sarah@EmergingMummy recently posted..In which I need a bit of room to breathe [Just Write]

Adventures In Babywearing September 20, 2011 at 9:07 am

The truth is inspiring.

Adventures In Babywearing recently posted..We are getting out of here

molly September 20, 2011 at 9:14 am

Beautiful, Heather. If I may be so bold I can see many different subjects in this post. I guess everyone reads at their own pace and finds their own meaning in words.

I keep coming back because I can almost feel your craft. You provide me with hope and fear and all the things a human needs to feel. Especially for a human who didn’t feel for so long. Who has numbed the pain with evil things.

I can relate to your writing and it feels good.
molly recently posted..let him drink

Sarah September 20, 2011 at 9:18 am

I was holding my breath for you while reading this hoping not to break that perfect silence that I know so well. A friend suggested that I try and wake up before the baby to grab a few minutes to myself. So far it’s so good. I had to giggle when I thought of you moving the Keurig machine and shushing the dog. Oh how I can relate to shushing the DOG. And when it’s quiet for a little longer than I expected I unexpectedly found myself ready for the chaos that will unfold. Beautiful post.
Sarah recently posted..Oh, Hanky Boy

Erica@PLRH September 20, 2011 at 9:32 am

I can relate… this morning I feel like I’ve passed the expiration date for a canned good.
Erica@PLRH recently posted..One Photo

Jo@Mylestones September 20, 2011 at 9:34 am

I’m picturing you stealthily opening the fridge and hiding in the garage to make coffee. Funny how we’ll go to great lengths for peace and quiet….and even far greater lengths for our noisy children.
Love you, girl.
Jo@Mylestones recently posted..I Almost Forgot

Polly (aka 5th Sister) September 20, 2011 at 10:08 am

Musing this morning about running, metaphorically and physically. I’ve posted and would like to link up but for some reason can’t find where to do so! I’ll keep looking, or better yet, email you!

Kellyn September 20, 2011 at 10:08 am

Sometimes just hearing the truth is enough to remind me that I am not alone. Even if struggles are not the same, I am not alone.
Kellyn recently posted..Her Breath

Sarah@Life in the Parsonage September 20, 2011 at 10:15 am

“Too much not enough” Might be the most brilliant statement I’ve heard in a long time.

The theme of motherhood. :)

Sidnie September 20, 2011 at 10:29 am

I choose writing, typing, reading over sleep most every night.
That quiet that is so wrong, but so right- I feel the need to soak it up.
And then the next day? I’m tired and whiny and I wonder why I did that….

Mornings. I need to try the Mornings.
Sidnie recently posted..three hearts on a map

Brandee Shafer September 20, 2011 at 12:20 pm

You capture so well the tension we feel, as mommies, between wanting the quiet and wanting the noise…wanting the alone-time and wanting the togetherness. And I think it’s not an easy thing to explain, so well done. Thanks for hosting the link-up! I’m excited to visit some new-to-me blogs!
Brandee Shafer recently posted..Last Mile of the Way

Kate September 20, 2011 at 12:53 pm

I battle between the need for sleep and other needs. Creativity, cleanliness, silence. And I love how you connect the very things that impinge on creativity to your inspiration.
Kate recently posted..Clouds, gray and mottled

Elaine September 20, 2011 at 12:53 pm

I so understand what you meant about “too quiet”, I’ve had that same feeling a lot lately since Tim had been at work most nights lately. It’s a bit of an eerie feeling after all of the daytime chaos.

I love your simile at the beginning.
Elaine recently posted..Monday Morning

Jen @ Momalom September 20, 2011 at 1:17 pm

Beautiful writing that speaks so loudly in its quiet way. The quiet is so noisy when you’re trying to keep it that way. Loved this. And loving your series.

Heidi Leanne September 20, 2011 at 1:27 pm

The quiet of the night is where I reside. I’ve tried the quiet of the morning, but as you say – that kind of quiet is much too loud. I cannot write nearly so peacefully as I do in the night when I’m not worried that every move I make will wake the littles.

Love this Just Write series – I wish I had time to read everyone’s words!
Heidi Leanne recently posted..Washed Alive

kendal September 20, 2011 at 1:50 pm

i take the coffee grinder to the garage! my boys are older now, so it’s the drums, guitar, television, talking on the phone that invade my quiet. so i carve out time when they are all at church. i make no apologies for saying – i need time….
kendal recently posted..you’re my girl

Sharone September 20, 2011 at 2:43 pm

I was going to say something deep and meaningful, but I have this head-floaty thing from not enough sleep and too much tutoring of germy barefoot (darling) college students. So I’ll just say that I treasure quiet too, and I treasure the times that aren’t quiet, when I can remember. To write it out helps with the refreshing, and to read words like yours helps too.

Jennifer, Playgroups are no place for children September 20, 2011 at 2:52 pm

I see that I’m not the only one who can relate to the keurig. (We just bought one, it should be delivered soon-ish). We grind our coffee in our garage, now, though.

“too much not enough.”

Yeah. I get it.

domestic extraordinaire September 20, 2011 at 3:07 pm

the quiet of the morning is my favorite time of day.

thank you for inspiring me.
domestic extraordinaire recently posted..Like sands through the hourglass so our the days of our lives

debi9kids September 20, 2011 at 4:00 pm

Oh I totally GET this. It’s like the quiet is too much and yet, I need it every now and again and boy… as my oldest 2 are starting their senior year in highschool… I get the aching womb.
Totally get it.
debi9kids recently posted..it’s a bit scattered, but it’s Just Write

Melissa September 20, 2011 at 4:50 pm

The coffee maker in the garage is truly inspired! I totally know where you are coming from. One of the things I miss about working was the peaceful time I had alone in the morning. I suppose I could still wake up at 5:30 am, but that seems a little extreme :-)
Melissa recently posted..So Tired of Being Tired

hyacynth September 20, 2011 at 6:07 pm

This was beautiful, Heather. A beautiful look at the imperfect loveliness of life in the midst of littles and dishes and dog’s tails that always seem to wag too loudly at the most inopportune times. {My poor dog.}
hyacynth recently posted..Just Write: Stepping around it

Galit Breen September 20, 2011 at 8:40 pm

Yes, this. I know this. I do this.

Except for the coffee maker in the garage. I don’t do that. But I so should. It’s genius, really.

But I know this tug and pull.

You expressed it beautifully, perfectly. Of course you did.

Galit Breen recently posted..Glee Starts Tonight & I’m Celebrating Scary Mommy Style!

Amber September 20, 2011 at 8:59 pm

I love this. Love, love, love it. I know exactly how this feels…
Amber recently posted..Putting Life On Pause.

Jessica@Team Rasler September 20, 2011 at 11:39 pm

I was trying to be quiet along with you as you opened the fridge door! I miss reading and writing in the quiet morning moments. Now I do it at night so I’m sure not to be interrupted because irritated is not the best mood to start my day. But my favorite line was this: “I must because if words are everywhere, shared in release of writing and reading, then there is a clapping and snapping, clicking connection that we need.” Perfect.
Jessica@Team Rasler recently posted..Mid night

CM @ A Little Lilac September 21, 2011 at 12:24 pm

I think so many of us moms can totally relate to this. You captured it so well!

Angie September 21, 2011 at 5:47 pm

The ticking time bomb! I get that. You get up early for the quiet, I stay up late. I’m a night owl to the core, but feeling so “expired” lately that even those late night moments are fleeting. But would I trade The Loud? Nope.

Amber@theRunaMuck September 22, 2011 at 10:05 am

A mother’s verse in every song is love-pain.

indeed. you are a sister.

Gianna September 24, 2011 at 4:31 pm

I think I read somewhere that you live in MN?
So do we! We live in the twin cities, but i grew up in Morris (mostly).
Gianna recently posted..Animal Instincts

caryn effron September 29, 2011 at 5:16 pm

It all goes way too fast, cant remember those days, boys are grown and out of the house- my little one is 14 turning 15. It all feels like a lifetime ago. I just try to stay present and have learned to try and hold onto each and every day. I love looking at my grown up daughter, her smile her laughter. No idea where time goes but somehow I went from having an insanely noisy house to a very quiet one –

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