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Big, Ugly Chair

I'm writing for myself, so it is interesting that, even as my own audience, I continue to  find myself censoring words and topics. I am sitting in my chair.  This is the place where most of my ideas are conceived.

We picked this chair out when I was pregnant with my daughter.  My father-in-law wanted to give us something big, and much needed. Typically, my decision making process  prioritizes form over function, but this selection was solely based on comfort.  I was aching, and overwhelmed by the unknown.  This big, ugly chair was remedy for my sciatic nerve pain and my heart.

At the time, I remember thinking how I would hate the chair eventually, and regret that we chose the earth tones verses the blue-green that I would normally gravitate towards.  "I am not the recliner type," I thought to myself.  "I will never drive a minivan, or wear mom jeans, or allow myself to get old and have wrinkles or stretch marks," that's not who I am.  It is very out of character that I fell in love with this big, ugly chair.  In the weeks before my daughter was born, I sat in this chair daydreaming about her, imagining myself as a mother, trying to make peace with the changes that our new life would bring.  I have opened many books for the first time in this chair, and closed them for the last, having grown from knowing the characters as if they were old friends. 

I have spent countless nights rocking a crying baby, and entire days, feeling trapped, nursing my baby who refused a bottle, feeling like I was missing out on what the rest of the world was doing.  Simultaneously, I was hating myself for having those feelings.  Then, there were times I held her for an extra hour because I wasn't quite ready to let her go, goodbye until tomorrow was too much to ask of myself.  I have mastered every song from Cinderella in this chair, and give a nightly performance to my daughter as a bedtime bargaining tactic.  I am fearfully waiting for the moment that she no longer wants to sit with me and listen to me love her to sleep.

On rare mornings, I find myself alone here, with my thoughts and coffee, letting the morning sun absorb into my heart.  I am facing South-East, and this may be the only time today that I am still enough to recognize which direction I am going.  And, not so rarely, I crack open my sketchbook, and let the smell of paper and ink inspire me, turning each page, recounting evidence of nights spent doing exactly the same thing.

Nostalgia is my favorite awareness.  It is the experiences that have made this chair beloved.  If only I could learn to translate this grace and understanding to my own body.