Friday, August 7, 2009


Last week was a very solitary week. I've been feeling low on account of a nagging sore throat and sinus pressure that comes and goes, leaving me tired and, well, low. Much has been made (including movies) of the plight of cubicle workers, who push pencils around (but not much else), and end up chucking it all to become something truly great or else going crazy trying to wait it out until retirement, and sometimes I feel just as futile in my chosen job of stay at home mom. A friend and I were comparing notes on how no job is ever completely done. You finish making, eating, and cleaning up from one meal only to find, oops! it's lunchtime. Mounds of dirty clothes (didn't I just wash and fold these?) that then turn into mounds of clean clothes that need to be folded and put away, disorganized piles of who-knows-what taking up valuable counter space, the mind-numbing amount of small tasks to be done that even when finished, don't seem to amount to much. Tack this on to a week where I'm physically not at my best and it's easy to feel discouraged and more than a little used up.

But then there was a moment, a shining light on the monotony of my duties, folding the umpteenth load of clean clothes in my more than a little messy living room. Arcade Fire. Wake Up. Unable to stand still, there I was, onesie in hand, shaking my head, legs pumping, heart swelling, tears welling, feeling
this is it. I felt recognized, as if Win Butler and company somehow knew me, and translated all I've been thinking about - (married love, the bitter-sweet joy of watching my kids grow up, friend relationships, the inherent struggle/sorrow/joy of being a human on planet earth) all into this brilliant song.

Isn't that what great art is?


  1. yes yes yes. I feel this on a monthly ehhem...basis. And it is often music or a photograph that strikes me like that and I'm shaken out. Thank you for sharing this. It was a good reminder to me that I'm so not alone.

  2. yes thanks. i relate on every point made. it's difficult - having been a cubicle worker who heartily embraced the culture about elevating out of it -the radiohead songs, the rebellion and sarcasm about it all - because the thing itself which we are endeavoring to do - motherhood, home, nurturing isn't something we can make a mockery of in the same way. we know it's of value thought it often doesn't feel it where as i really didn't think it mattered if the insurance company i worked in went up in flames. does this make it easier or harder? i think it depends on the day your having.

  3. I think whoever you are and whatever your "job", there can be moments of futility, as if everything you do is meaningless. Show me a person who is 100% fulfilled all the time- from Thom Yorke to suburban house wife, I don't think such a person exists until they are dead and with their Maker. For me, those moments like the one I described help me remember that what I'm doing is important and that yes, I'm still alive and my life is relevant and that I'm connected to the human race even though I haven't left the house in 5 days!

  4. i am so obviously woefully behind in arcade fire listening...perhaps i need a burned cd... ;)