this little crack.

i want to retreat.  into a book.  a movie.  a daydream.  some other country.  i want to leave my tired grumpy self somewhere (behind!) and return to the sun side.  i just checked flight prices online and cleaned my bathroom.  all in an attempt to shake this…this ick.  i don’t know if it’s the weather: grey and slushy and unseasonable warm.  or the great effort of being a mama.  or knowing terrible things are going on all around this planet.

i’m just not sure what do to with the pain.

i have been avoiding crying.  i watch myself.  i watch the feeling rise to my cheeks.  and i can feel that burning.  and i push it away.  not now.  no tears now.  even now i am tight and tired.  i am finally alone.  no one calling me to wipe their bottom or spell a word.  no one wanting a glass of water.  and i think shit.  i am SO lucky.  why am i feeling unlucky.  so i feel guilty for feeling sorry for myself;  guilty for wanting help.  i feel guilty and frustrated that i can’t do it all alone all the time.

that is the kicker.  i am ridiculously independent.  fiercely.

being a mother is hard.  that is what i am feeling these days.  being a mother is hard.  and i am struggling with that.  there is this line in my head.  this wire on which i balance between recognizing the beautiness in my life: call it luck, privilege, ease; and acknowledging the challenges in my life…the most prominent one at this time is solo flying with my girls.

i love them.  they are wild and beautiful creatures.  they stretch me to my max. (and beyond!)  i love the look of them.  their eyes.  the way they look at me.  piercing.  i love their wit.  they are quick.  quirky.  they are creative.  and full.  full of what my mother might call vim and vigor.

i do not enjoy their sisterly squabbles.  they can be painfully hostile.  they can be ugly with each other.  we can all be ugly with each other.  and i don’t like it.  it pains me.  the fighting eats me up.  i am not peaceful in the midst of the fight.  nor am i calm in the face of their demanding whining voices.  especially when i’m tired.  and i am still being woken up a number of times a night.

i am still being skilled in the fine art of balance.  you.  me.  we.  me and two.  us three.  me again.  you there.  us.

i almost WANT to do it all alone.  it’s like i have something to prove (hmmm.. could it be that old story…the one about not being good enough!) i almost want to do it ALONE.  if i did i could say look…look at me…i did this big thing all alone.  how amazing is THAT!  i ALMOST want to do it alone.  but not quite.  not quite.  so there is this little crack.  this little crack where i have wanted to ask for help.  this little crack where i have been forced to ask for help.  and in that opening i have found the sweetness.  the blessing of receiving.  and strangely even the sweetness is not always easy to take.

here, in this little crack,  i have found the blessing of friends and family.  the blessing of people who pull me into their hearts.  sweet people in this town like nadine and ryan who take my children on saturday mornings at 6:30am so i can have a booth at the farmer’s market.  people like mireille who adjust their lives to make mine more easeful.  people like tanya whose kitchen love tonight soothed my soreness.   people like matthew who love me even when i’m sad, and tired, and longing for the family i once had.

through this little crack i am slowly letting in the gifts.  and they are to be shared.  as i see it there are many joys and many sorrows.  i am blessed to be surrounded by people who receive my stories: my grief, my fears.  they help cradle my heart because sometimes it feels too heavy to hold alone.


10 thoughts on “this little crack.

  1. the doula in me reaches her arms and heart toward you surrounding you and comforting you. the doula in me wants to extend my offers of help, love and support anything you need or want it. The doula in me says oh honey, you are not alone, it is so very natural, these grey times in between the light. the doula in me says it takes much much strength to know when to ask for help and to know that we sometimes need it. the doula in me thinks this is the universes way our making sure we connect as humans and get what we need. the friend in me knows this doula very very well and they both can be hands behind your hands at times when you feel you need support, love, laughter or just simply need help or a break. I love you dear Chantalle for the greatness you posses that you don’t know you have 🙂

  2. and yet again, you speak so deep and raw. so inside and fiery. you must must read annie dillard ‘the writing life.’ you will be completely enthralled. opening a vein and bleeding on the page.

  3. i’m sure you know this well from leonard cohen, but here it is in full.


    The birds they sang
    at the break of day
    Start again
    I heard them say
    Don’t dwell on what
    has passed away
    or what is yet to be.
    Ah the wars they will
    be fought again
    The holy dove
    She will be caught again
    bought and sold
    and bought again
    the dove is never free.

    Ring the bells that still can ring
    Forget your perfect offering
    There is a crack in everything
    That’s how the light gets in.

    We asked for signs
    the signs were sent:
    the birth betrayed
    the marriage spent
    Yeah the widowhood
    of every government —
    signs for all to see.

    I can’t run no more
    with that lawless crowd
    while the killers in high places
    say their prayers out loud.
    But they’ve summoned, they’ve summoned up
    a thundercloud
    and they’re going to hear from me.

    Ring the bells that still can ring …

    You can add up the parts
    but you won’t have the sum
    You can strike up the march,
    there is no drum
    Every heart, every heart
    to love will come
    but like a refugee.

    Ring the bells that still can ring
    Forget your perfect offering
    There is a crack, a crack in everything
    That’s how the light gets in.

    Ring the bells that still can ring
    Forget your perfect offering
    There is a crack, a crack in everything
    That’s how the light gets in.
    That’s how the light gets in.
    That’s how the light gets in.

  4. If you wake up
    and the day feels a-broken
    just lean into the crack
    and it will tremble
    ever so nicely
    how it sparkles
    down there

    I can decide what I give
    but it’s not up to me
    what I get given

    Unthinkable surprises
    about to happen
    but what they are


  5. Another beautiful offering of yourself..You are so very human and beautiful ..
    Everyone who reads your blog I am sure will see themselves…
    Leonard Cohen’s “there is a crack in everything made me cry…
    love Joni

  6. Hey old friend. That whole piece about almost wanting to do it alone – but not quite. not quite… really got to me. I know that feeling that sometimes we fantasize still that the world is really about me. The universe revolves around… me. I guess it started when we were born and stuck with us. Sometimes I find myself secretly wishing for some catastrophe, out of a need for some excitement or something to shake things up. It started when I was seven years old sitting on the end of my dock at wolfe island wishing for a tornado to come. These days, I’m learning to follow that up with a “be careful what you wish for”…

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