We’re lying on our backs on the dining room table, watching the reflection of puddles on the ceiling. The shadows ripple each time a drop falls from the roof, and I feel like I’m watching a turtle in a Zen garden or time lapse clouds, the cheesy kind that fly across your TV to signify spirituality. January stillness sweeps across our house in a layer of sunlight on dirty wood floors. Rebecca thinks watching the ceiling is a decent break from running up and down the table.

You could hardly do better than December if you were designing a month to make me feel desperate. The festivities came down in torrents of rain, exhilarating, more than the earth could absorb. I celebrated like I was taking part in a census.

No room for me at the inn, no room for clothes in my hamper, and by the last week in December I’ve got nothing left to take care of myself. I remember that Santa’s supposed to bring me what I want and that in fact, he used to. This Christmas I want my mom and I want to feel special and I want to be pregnant again. (Though, yes, it’s just as well Santa didn’t give me the latter.)

Living with a baby is like long-distance driving, the constant attention and repetitious motions. You drive into and out of storms and watch the land change from the corner of your eye, until abruptly you realize you’re somewhere new. In January we flee the Promised Land and its jealous madness, toward Egypt, into the desert. We find Presence in the emptiness and formless hours.

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