Want + Need

I want to be a collage artist.

I want to be in two places at once.

I want to be a poetry professor and the woman who sits in the school while her daughter attends 6 tutoring sessions a week. I want to go backwards and nab an MFA at age 26. Or forward and enroll for an MFA at age 52.

I want to be at AWP, the annual writers conference where all the cool writers are right now. And I want to be right here, walking with my husband as the sunset shades part of the sky a brilliant red. I want to discuss the paint samples in our dining room. All orange. Because orange to me signifies how I am a poet. The poet has an orange dining room.

I want to be a collage artist.

I want to be in two places at once.

I want to be immersed in all of my desires at once.

I am in my office writing on my own writing. I’ve made a place for it in my life. I read  a question on Instagram: do you work on your passion writing work in long stretches or in small windows of time?

I carve out windows of time. Short ones. I make a life around my passion and my need. My need to make money for the mortgage and the kids. My want/need to be with my family as much as possible. I make myself see the list one of my kids made in early elementary school. It lives on the door in that separates our kitchen from the dining room. The sheet has a side for wants and a side for needs.

My wants mix with my needs. Love and desire and need all fall into the washing machine. They make a collage. Last night Kk leaned up against the just painted orange wall. Her red sweatshirt gained orange spots. She pulled it off, careful not to color her hair. She handed it to me. Told me it was OK if all the orange didn’t wash out. I just remembered this moment that I didn’t miss. The sweatshirt still sits in the washing machine. I forgot to finish the cycle.

I cycle through my wants and needs. I am a collage. I make a life: orange paint and a red sunset. Red sweatshirt. Drying paint. The music loud enough to hear above the sound of my typing hands. I’m in one place with the story of AWP a faint background. Somewhere in another life or in the future I am a poetry professor. Now I’m a woman about to post a blog right after she checks on the red sweatshirt that’s in our washing machine.

 

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