Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Whispering Silence

I have been getting in shape lately, a product of my recent "I'm turning 30" self-improvement frenzy.

Well, that and the fact that I'm now beyond the simultaneously fleeting and endless "body snatching" phase of parenting (encompassing pregnancy and well over a year of nursing." Suddenly my baby is 18 months old, and I feel like a new woman.... my own woman!

Anyway, I've always wanted to do yoga on a more regular basis, so now I try to work it in a few days a week. I've also always enjoyed a good run... or more accurately, a good meandering jog. So this afternoon, I popped Elliot into the jogging stroller and took off...

*Gasp!* I completely forgot my walkman. (yes, walkman... my propensity to drop things prevents me from finicky new-fangled gadgets like iPods.... plus I just want to listen to the radio)

Too lazy (and winded!) to turn back, I went with it. You can guess what happened.

That's right, Evelyn, the newly discovered star of "Upturned Stones" whispered in my ear about all sorts of odds and ends. The recent decline in her mother's health; her desperate attempt to reap something fruitful from that relationship before it was too late; bits of info about her teenage daughters; and her overwhelming sense of something passing her by. Something important.

I would have missed all of it if I'd had my earphones on, blaring the latest pirate attack in my ear along with upsetting updates about the ongoing senate race (I'm a Minnesota Public Radio addict).

I also would have missed 18 month old Elliot Rose's random observations. She frequently burst into joyful claps and shouted "ruff, ruff, ruff" at neighborhood dogs out for their own walk. "Mommy, mommy" she would chant until I stopped to huff a breathless "What honey?" in her ear. From the toddler chatter that followed, I could make out "puppy" and "boots" and "swing," though I have no idea what her thought process might have been.

In the silence left by the missing walkman, she and I were able to enjoy each other, and at the same time, I was able to tune into a character that seems to be demanding the spotlight.

As you might expect, my sad, tired, dented old walkman is tucked safely in a drawer. Until Minnesota's harsh winter overtakes us again sometime next November, I'll be steeling off for a jog with my baby and my characters every chance I get.


Anna said...

absolutely wonderful!! one day Elliot will be off in school, plenty of time for stuffed ears...

jog the legs and brain well!

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

Awesome! I usually listen to my iPod with music so I can focus on my writing, but sometimes silence and a happy child are best.

I remember feeling pretty darn good when my daughter turned 18 months. She's 2 1/2 now and I've finally lost all the weight... yay!

I also have a character named Evelyn in my first novel. She's not the MC, but I love her a lot out of most of my characters I created. Love the name. :D

jchart said...

Sounds like an awesome work out, fun time with Elliot, and a great way to get in touch with your characters as well!
I'm feeling a bit of the 'Oh gee I'm gonna be 30 next year' thing lately which has prompted me into getting out of my chair too - unforunately, it's heading into winter here. Not the best timing to get back into exercise!!
I'm looking forward to that time when I can reclaim my body, though I am still happy to share it now, still a fair few months to go so just as well really ;-)
Good on you!

B J Keltz said...

Okay, I just have to say I smiled when I read "turning 30." It's just beginning, ladies! The 30s are great.

Washing dishes is also a good time for characters to knock and come in to sit a spell. Silent car rides, too!



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