Drinking Words

Posted On: 04.24.12

THEN: A regular day. After five. The kids are flirting with their food, not eating much. I am riding waves from the day, mulling over threadbare chapters, editing posts in my head. Someone is crying. Someone is asking for a candy. Someone is asking for a show. There are toys everywhere. A rainbow reminder of what life is now. I trip on them. I feel something. A tightening of the chest, a flurry of questions, a surge of ideas. But I can’t write now. I shouldn’t want to write now. I should pick them up and twirl them around and tickle them to the couch. I should sing something: How was your day? You are such a good girl! Mommy loves you! I sing these things. My voice is mine, but not entirely. I walk to the fridge. I swing open the door. I pull the bottle. Uncork it. I pour a glass. A big one. I drink it down. Things are better, smoother, softer, more beautiful. The whines are melodic, the toys symbolic of something gritty and grand, the chapters I didn’t finish mere details. Specks on the canvas.

NOW: A regular day. After five. The kids are flirting with their food, not eating much. I am riding waves from the day, mulling over threadbare chapters, editing posts in my head. Someone is crying. Someone is asking for a candy. Someone is asking for a show. There are toys everywhere. A rainbow reminder of what life is now. I trip on them. I feel something. A tightening of the chest, a flurry of questions, a surge of ideas. But I can’t write now. I shouldn’t want to write now. I should pick them up and twirl them around and tickle them to the couch. I should sing something: How was your day? You are such a good girl! Mommy loves you! I sing these things. I get a glass of water. I sip it. It tastes like nothing. Nothing can be delicious. I open a book and read a few words. I open my computer and write a few words. I wrangle my girls into a tiny circle and say a few words. Remember when. Imagine this. Can you believe. I am proud of you. Life is life. The voice is mine. Entirely.

WHEN: A regular day. After five… I walk to the fridge. I pour a glass of wine. I take a sip. I put it down. I read some words. I write some. I sing some. I say some. And they say words too, many of them, rising up, floating between us. Words about today, words about tomorrow, words about homework, words about heartwork, words about whatever. We set the table. Plates. Napkins. Forks. Knives. Daddy is home. We sit together. We sip. Words. Water. Wine. We are living. We are loving. We are learning. And we are talking, listening, dealing, dreaming, words weaving in that invisible and exquisite space, over the plates we pick from.

Words.

*

Words. They are this year’s wine. I sip them and swig them. I slurp them. I spill them. They make me feel, and see, and imagine, and dream. They make me alert and aware and alive. They are my dots, scattered about me, toys on the floor, connecting themselves on the canvas, tripping me up.

Words. They arrive all day long, lining up, waiting to be plucked, placed. They whisper and whirl, they tangle and twirl.

Words. They have no calories. They are free. They are me.

They do not make my head hurt. Well, they do. But in a good way. The best way. Life is life. And I will read about it and write about it and talk about it instead of escaping it.

*

Thank you all for your wonderful words yesterday. Your support and stories mean the world. The world.

*

For other Five for Five musings on WORDS, please click here to visit the lovely sisters at Momalom. I am also thrilled to be linking up with other JUST WRITE participants over at The Extraordinary Ordinary. Leave a comment here before 11pm EST for a chance to win Danielle LaPorte’s FIRE STARTER SESSIONS. Congrats to Heidi for winning yesterday’s copy!

What role do words play in your life? Do you think it is possible to replace our vices with words – thought, written, spoken? What does the 5pm hour look like in your home? Why do you drink?

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Comments


37 Comments for: "Drinking Words"
  1. Love this analogy, this image. xox

  2. Reminds me of Mark Strand’s beautiful lines: :”Ink runs from the corners of my mouth. / There is no happiness like mine. / I have been eating poetry. /”

  3. Anonymous

    I drink because that’s what I do. I have been doing it for decades. To numb and get away. To run away from certain things that happened in my life that I don’t know how to deal with. I would like to stop but I m not sure I would know how. Maybe I could though?

    • Yes, you can do it. I quit drinking almost 9 months ago. Drinking seemed like a part of me and then a little voice told me it didn’t have to be a part of me anymore. Life is too short to stay numb through it all. Please try! What do you have to lose?

  4. Your glass of wine is my handful of M&Ms. (Is, present tense.) A teeny bit begrudgingly, I say thanks for the reminder that life doesn’t get any “better, smoother, softer, or more beautiful” than toys on the floor and kiddos in my arms.

  5. I love the imagery you portrayed here. And again, I can certainly relate.

    Sometimes I reach for the glass. Sometimes, like Stacia, it’s chocolate. But most days, it’s the computer. My window to the world, where I try to seek solace in like-minded souls also searching for a connection with someone outside of their living room. Someone, anyone, who would and could understand.

    This virtual connection certainly has its benefits, but when it begins to take over my real life, that’s when it’s an issue. I have to remind myself that what’s real is staring back at me. It may be whiny, needy, and challenging at times, but it’s real life.

    And it’s my life.

  6. You are brave. Let those words sustain you.

  7. Beautiful and so brave. Thank you for sharing this.

  8. i love how you’ve turned the tables, to use words to deal with life, to embrace and express rather than escape.

  9. We use words daily to communicate. I would say voices complement the words.

  10. Words are deliciously, calorie-free. But do you ever want to bottle them up in a place they can’t escape? That’s my problem and wish.

  11. I love this…..words mean so much..love the analogy and love the photo :) Cheers to words.

  12. Good for you for exploring this. I need to explore some things that I do that probably aren’t good for me….. I’m thinking about it.

  13. Loved the repeat. Looked forward to the switch. Made me want to read. Wonderful words here.
    Dana

  14. Wonderful post! I think many people find writing therapeutic so yes, I can see how it could replace some anti-stress vices. My 5pm hour is a lot like yours…occasionally with a glass of wine but mostly without.

  15. I love your words instead of wine and I look forward to following your story to see how things morph between then and now.

  16. Beautiful. Thank you for this. Love the way you told and tell this story of yours. Glad I popped over here today from Extraordinary Ordinary.

  17. I love the then and now. Isn’t it interesting that easing this place takes something vibrant away too?

  18. I think it takes a lot of courage to ask the questions you’re asking about drinking and about life. One of the things that has come out of me not drinking is my kids seeing the real me (for better and for worse). I never want to feel the anxiety that you described in “then” again. Thank you for sharing this experience!

  19. Liz

    I really admire your honesty here, Aidan (now that we are on the topic of words, how odd that I just now noticed that after– what–like 2 years of following you off and on, that your name is also my youngest son’s). I sometimes turn to the wine, sometimes the bad tv, sometimes the computer, sometimes the book, sometimes music…but I admit that I am often flustered by the toys strewn about, the orchestra of voices calling my name, the preparing of dinner, the routine of life after 5 everyday. I work so hard (today has been one of those) to slooooow down and take a breath and not make it all worse just by being loud in my own head.

  20. Without words my life and being would be diminished in ways that words cannot express. It sounds like hyperbole and melodrama but I know it to be true.

  21. DrB

    Thank you.

    The timing of your blog post was perfect.

    Back to Day 1 !

  22. This is so beautifully put. Love it!

  23. like this a lot. drink words.

  24. Marianna Wright

    Seems like it’s all been said, superbly, already. Was sober through the horrors of my life, then I discovered alcohol. What relief to self-medicate, to succumb, to taste sweet relief. Relief to the brink of death in an alcohol-induced coma. I am tipsy today. Not under the influence, but struggling to find center. Sobriety is bittersweet. An unwelcome challenge.

  25. Marianna Wright

    By “all said” I meant concerning the beauty of what you’ve written. Well done!

  26. Spilling words. You go my friend. Love the heartfelt tone of this post.

  27. Beautiful…and oh so inspiring!

  28. Beautifully written! Enjoy your words, by the glass or by the bottle!

  29. “Nothing can be delicious”. Oh yes it can. I love myself some good old NOTHING. Just like I love the quiet. I also love “nothing”.

    I love your descriptions of words equating to wine. And I’ll say, beautifully written words (like yours) can be just as intoxicating as a stiff drink for sure. Enjoy this year. Relish in it. You’ll certainly remember it.

    xo

  30. I think it’s so wonderful, Aidan, that you are working on this very tangible balance. That you have found this one, specific thing to pinpoint and you are pushing forward and learning how to live in a new way and obviously feeling good about the change. Ha! This is not the first instance of a words post I’ve see incorporating change as well. Love it!

  31. I love the balance that you’re teetering – it speaks of your writing and your mothering, yes. But also your living.

    And that? Is inspiring. (truly)

  32. Love this analogy. Drunk on words is such a great way to put it. Keep on keeping on, ADR.

  33. CJ

    I think you just describe the role of a “blogger” perfectly. Words are so powerful. You captured that perfectly!

  34. Wow. I’ve noticed that there is stuffing down words or letting them flow. When you let them out, everyone, including the words, feels better.

    Thanks for this evocative post.

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