Family of Me

by Daphne
Updates Mondays and Fridays

Scene 91: Single Minded

Aura (The Professional): It feels like a good time to write, honestly.

Lark (The Dreamer): But don’t you want to know how it ends?

Mom (Me): Good morning girls. What are we talking about today?

Aura: I’m trying to get us to focus on writing.

Lark: We were reading such an interesting book though…

Aura: The book will be there when we finish writing our scene, and we’ve been struggling to keep more scenes in reserve. I really think we should take this time to write.

Lark: How can you focus on writing when we don’t know what happens in the book’s story? It’s just going to keep bothering us… It’d be best to finish the book now so it’s not taking up space in our head.

Aura: We can read anytime! I’m opening our script file.

Lark (whining): But look how *shiny* this book is! What could its words say? Don’t you want to know?

Mom: She’s awfully persistent.

Aura (exasperated): It’s not a good idea right now, Lark! For crying out loud; what are you, Bloom’s age?

(Lark shakes her body back and forth, appearing as an indistinct blur. When her form settles again, she looks like Bloom’s twin rather than Aura’s.)

Lark: Yes I am! Now read the book!

Aura (shocked): Gah! Since when can you do that?

Mom: The Dreamer is showing off again, I see.

(Lark sticks her tongue out at me as her body shifts gently back to its twenty-something self.)

Lark (flippant): Just stop fighting and read it; you know I’m going to win!

Aura (upset): Ugh, I know you are! You *always* win and it’s *so* frustrating! It wouldn’t be so bad if we could focus on managing more than one project at a time, but we still haven’t figured that out, so once again it’s “drop everything else and do what Lark wants” time.

Mom (nodding): That’s… Actually a fairly accurate representation, isn’t it. If nothing’s holding our interest at the moment then we can do what we like, though we still like to do interesting things. But if we *are*interested in something, then that something is all we can do while it has our attention. Even if we force ourselves to take a break, it won’t be long before we’re back at it again.

Aura: And that’s that. Hopefully we weren’t trying to do anything important, because unless it’s something we can do with minimal focus and attention, it’s not getting done.

Lark (resigned): Not until we do the thing I want to do.

Aura (annoyed): And it’s *always* you. Why is it never me? Why couldn’t I get what I want sometimes, or Libra, or Bloom? Even Ivy struggles with it; I’ve seen memories where she gets in trouble with her partner because she didn’t get something important done, and she didn’t do it because *you* decided we should do something else!

Lark (embarrassed): I just… I want things, sometimes. I’m pretty persuasive, I guess.

Aura: So why can’t we discuss your wants with us like adults? Why do you have to pester us until you get what you want?

Lark (tearful): I…

Mom: Let’s stop for a moment to recognize what Lark is. Lark is The Dreamer — hers is the domain of dreams, of wishes. Dreams are desires, desperate needs, forlorn wants. So Lark gets what she wants because part of her *is* want. When something makes my imagination race with possibility and feel like the most important thing in the world, Lark is the one who feels that the most.

Lark (quiet): I just want what’s best for all of us. I’m just trying to help.

Aura: Sometimes your persistence is helpful, it really is. But whenever you want something you suck all the air out of the room and there’s no space to think about anything else.

Lark (hesitant): I don’t know if I can stop… Being persuasive.

Mom: Aura, I don’t think she can. And I understand you’re doing your best; we all are, Lark included. It’s just that my different personas have points of view, so we have different ideas of what “best” is. And for better or worse, as you noted, we can only do one thing at a time.

Aura: Fine, but aren’t you supposed to be making that decision for us, Mom? Isn’t it your job to decide on what we need and what we should all focus on?

Mom: I used to think it was. I used to think I should have absolute conscious control over what I did and what I focused on and what I worked towards. That feeling was especially strong in your time, Aura, and it’s part of why you and Lark were tangled together.

Aura: It would make things a lot easier.

Mom: I can see why you’d think that; I used to think that too. But when we tried that, we ended up leaving a lot of yourself behind. Parts of us that I decided weren’t a priority get neglected and ignored.

Aura (uncomfortable): I know… I remember being pushed aside.

Mom: It never really worked anyway. As much as I tried to push you aside, you never went away. I can try to ignore Lark, but she’s always in the back of my head, trying to direct my attention. A wise woman once told me that desire is unfulfilled need, and Lark is my compass for navigating that need.

Aura: So you just… Don’t make any choice now? You can phrase that approach so it sounds righteous, but it means the loudest voice in the room wins, again and again. You’re not making space for our ideas, you’re abdicating your authority. The decision of whose wants to pursue is yours whether you want it or not.

Mom (insistent): And I think it’s wrong to frame it as a decision. Parts of it are, but there are some things in my head here that not even I can control, and I find it much more productive to encourage you girls to express yourselves while I mediate your expression. That concept should sound familiar to you.

Aura: It… It’s this.

Mom: Yes, it’s this. This series — and my actual life that this story based on — is me trying acceptance and radical self-love and seeing how far those things can take me. Yes, we can only focus on one thing at a time and that sucks, but that’s just how our brain seems to work. Everyone has limits, and that’s one of ours — no-one has the luxury of unlimited resources, so we all have to get along and make do with what we have.

Aura: So what, Lark and I just have to work this out between the two of us?

Mom: I’ll help as much as I can, of course. Sometimes these conversations give me new insight into myself or give me new things to try, and when that happens I’ll guide us in trying someone new, just like I’m doing with this series.

Aura (accepting): Okay fine, I respect that we’re trying a different approach here. I’ll do my best to work with Lark and the others and take a flexible approach to life.

Mom (smiling): That’s all I ask. Thanks, kiddo.

Aura: Don’t mention it, Mom.