The rattlesnake stirs at my house around 7:00am these days. Well he is Ezra when he wakes up, sprawled naked across his bed (our recent hot snap having turned pajamas into a corporal punishment analog), but shortly afterward he declares in a small voice I'm a rattlesnake and sheds the first person for the rest of the morning.
From there on out it's all
the rattlesnake is cold
the rattlesnake wants mango
and in fidelity to his character he slithers around on his naked belly (while I cringe at the prospect of the splinters he could pick up from our century-old hardwood floors) and insists on a straw in his morning smoothie since rattlesnakes don't have hands to hold a cup. The rattlesnake's logic is unassailable.
Today he broke out of his snake physicality only long enough to hold the rattlesnake's favorite artifact, a wooden apple. It's getting positively biblical around here in the mornings.
I'm not sure I've quite deciphered the rattlesnake's appearance in our family ecology, but he tends to emerge on hard mornings and his timid little third person voice makes me wonder if he turns up when Ezra feels particularly vulnerable.
When Will and Ezra dropped me at the airport last week Will asked Ez Are you sad because Mama left? and Ezra replied No, I'm happy because I'm a rattlesnake.
Maybe the serpent in my garden knows something I don't about deflecting fear and doubt.
I thought if lots of people told me I am awesome I would start to believe it.
Apparently it doesn't work that way.
(I mean, it's nice to hear, so you should tell someone they're awesome if you think that's true, but it's not the kind of thing that's easy to internalize. Or at least not for me anyway.)
I think what works is doing lots of work, lots of writing, lots of making pictures, lots of tinkering to develop a style. So this is me, back to the drawing board, trying to hitchhike out of Kansas. I'm going to pick up a fierce power animal along the way too, just in case I need to slip her on to deflect the scariest stuff.