I used to write every day. With music in my ears and words spilling out of my fingers, I would write and write and write. My heart was soul slick, bubbling over, unable to be tamed.
Now I’m a bottle with a cork it; a well fast running dry; a knotted ball of yarn. I know how this works but I’m angry and my fingertips have run dry. There’s no words as I navigate an almost three year old having a meltdown, a six year old with home reading and a desire to have me watch all the video games, an eight year old who needs to know the why of everything.
I am lost in a haze of no words, of chemistry, of fatty acid profiles and caustic experiments.
Who would have thought that making soap could run the word well empty so fast.
My three year old screams in the background, angry again.
The weather is ice and wind.
I can’t send them outside.
There is sharpie on the walls and someone has stolen all my notebooks and unpinned my scribbled notes from the cork board I use to organise my life. I frantically hunt for a pen while I take notes on the shaving soap cooking, but someone has stolen them, my pen cup removed from its home amongst the high shelves and left scattered on the floor.
Now there are two children screaming.
Please just shhhhhhhhh.
I can’t believe there are eight pairs of scissors in the house and I cannot find one of them.
Find a playlist. Turn the music up. The dog is chewing headbands again. Shaving soap cooks and I stir stir stir the caustic mix, waiting for it to come together, to trace, to be soap rather than a messy collection of liquids.
Business is good. I love what I do. But sometimes I feel like a shaken bottle of soda, ready to explode if the words don’t come out. I need to write. Making soap is my passion, but writing saves my sanity and god knows there’s little of it left.
School goes back tomorrow, and the almost three year old will spend the day asking when we can pick up her siblings and screaming because she doesn’t want them to come home and ruin her games anymore.
I can feel a splash of lye on my finger and I should go and wash it off, but the pain reminds me that I still exist in this tornado of business and screaming and need.
Everything is too bright, too dark, chaos whirlwind, around and around. My hands are soul slick again and I wash them off, down the drain with the bubbles, there go the words.
I used to write. Stories. Books.
I’m drowning in a desert of no words and I can’t find my way out.
The soap cooks in the slow cooker and I make notes, ready for markets next weekend. There are twenty weekends until Christmas and 16 markets if I get into everything I want, and don’t get sick, or have my body fall apart. I take vitamin D, magnesium, fish oil, slow release opiates. I sleep when I can, but sometimes find myself sitting wide awake at 3am, wondering what I’m doing.
MUM MUM MUMMY MUM MUMMY MUM MUMMY!
I am not hiding in the bathroom. No, I’m not. Go away. I need to pee. Just, I’m working.
You’re always working.
Yes. Because you need new clothes and our house needs a new bedroom and a dining room and money doesn’t just fall from the sky kid. As much as I would like it to.
The soap is almost cooked in the time it takes me to write this, broken and disjointed.