Sunday, January 29, 2006

Home. Mind. Body.

“If I want to know how you are,” my father used to say, “I only have to look at your room.” The walls of this place are my second skin.

This week has bitten a few too many pieces out of me. Nothing major. The limbs are still attached, but by Friday night, I feel drained and diminished, world-weary.

Saturday at 6:00 a.m., I begin convalescence by washing rocks to clear their energy. Six bowls of stones, two stone circles, an amethyst cathedral druse. A basin of very cold water. Rinse the stones…river rocks, three bowls of semi-precious stones, a huge chunk of aquamarine, a leaf-size piece of Labradorite. The ceramic and glass bowls are cleaned with hot soapy water and the stones left to drain on a towel.

I buy white Astromeria on long green stalks and backup butter and bread.

There are eight, floor-length curtain panels to wash and iron and windows to wash. One chore leads to another and the Red Devil Vacuum is hauled into service to suck dirt from the carpets. I rummage under the sink for the dusting cloth and lemon cleaner. I bundle garbage and truck it down three floors to the dumpster. There are endless trips back and forth putting away the debris of the week: hair elastics, earrings and books on the coffee table, dishes in the drainer, letters and papers on every surface. And then I notice the kitchen floor is dirty and while I scrub that, I see smudges and drips on the side of the fridge, on the stove and cupboards.

This is totally absorbing work. For the first time in days, I’m present.

It’s six p.m. when I stop. The curtains are snowy white and there are clean cotton sheets on the bed. Uncluttered surfaces gleam. I eat a quiet meal with lots of steamed vegetables and drink a glass of red wine.

And the bruised and prodded pieces of my psyche are healing. The swarm of gnats in my head have flown away, leaving only the thoughts they were feeding on.

I stand up stronger inside my first and second skins and imagine that now I can deal with those.

Prozac, move over.