Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Peace In The Prosaic

I got another solid nine hours of sleep last night and yet, woke up feeling as if nine demons had spent the entire nine hours beating me with fierce clubs and then crawling into my brain to turn the valves and loosen the lug nuts and slide down the banisters of my neurons with their rough red butts and I got out of bed and I cried.

I am exhausted.

It seems to me that so many of us are. The phrase, "Taking to my bed," has been bandied about by the ladies I love on more than one blog.

The past two weeks have been filled with the deepest sadnesses and some of the greatest joys. There has been constant activity from Colin'smemorial service to chasing my beloved grandson around to being at the Opera House to rehearse, to paint, to going to Thomasville to get good news, to going out to hear the best music and today, when I woke up, I realized that this is a day, a perfect, warm, spring-coming day which lay before me in glory.
Except for one thing.
The lovely girls were supposed to come over tonight for good-news-no-more-chemo-for-now celebration and I...just...couldn'

I called Kathleen who was still in bed at nine o'clock in the morning! You have no idea what that says about HER level of exhaustion. I told her that really, as much as I love our get-togethers, could we not do the celebration tonight? Could we all just stay in and take it easy for the one night we have off from the Opera House?

"Oh, thank-you," she said. "I want to go to bed at six-thirty."

And with those words I got an image of a silky white carpet of satin being unrolled before me, my bare feet ready to walk it by myself, through a day of my own. A day where I can marry myself in joy. Does that make sense? I shall be my own bride today. I shall celebrate myself.

And how do I do that?

A friend of mine just spent a week in meditation at a Zen monastery up somewhere in the cold and icy north and when he was not sitting in meditation, clearing his mind, he was given tasks to do in mindfulness. Tasks like deep-cleaning six bathrooms. Tasks like clearing walkways of ice and snow. Tasks like vacuuming.
Tasks that he probably never does at home because he has other sorts of tasks to do and he is a hard-worker and a devoted husband and grandfather and father but cleaning those bathrooms was a part of his meditation and I am thinking of that today because that is exactly the sort of meditation I want to do. That is how I want to celebrate this whole entire day given unto me.

My house is so beloved to me. It is almost seven years now since we have moved here and as the changing seasons will do, the very air brings me back to when we moved in. The sky and its light, the birdsong, the feel of the breeze brings back the joy I felt to know that this house with its porches, its floors, its walls, would be sheltering me and mine.
A renewal of that joy is as real as the renewal of the joy of a marriage when a couple takes the time to go away together and I feel a great need to tend to the house.

In the busy-ness of the past few weeks, the stress, the emotions, I have neglected it sorely. I need to find my kitchen counters. I need to find my floors. I need to find my shining wood surfaces. I need to find the bottom of my laundry basket. I need to find the feel of clean sheets on my skin, of clean floors under my feet. I need to find some peace of mind, some areas of tranquility, some center to my being.
And today I can do that. And in doing that, I am tending to myself, I am finding myself, my center, my peace in the prosaic joy of creating some order.

A Jehovah's Witness came to my door this morning already. A fine, fine looking man and he tried to give me an Awake pamphlet and I was so very nice to him and I told him that I am not religious but thank-you, so much. I told him that I was not religious because my heart is already so filled with all of this and I opened my arms wide to take in all of this place which I love and the glorious day from the dirt to the sky and the trees and the garden and the rooster running across the yard and the dogs barking at my feet and the kitchen behind me- that my heart is so filled that there is no room for the rules of religion.
And he thanked me.

And we shook hands and I told him that I bet his mama was proud of him and he said, "I hope so."

And that was enough and it was so true that my eyes filled with tears, the overspill of this filled-up heart.

Here's the buck-eye that I planted in front of one of my porches. Last week it was a bud, this week, sharp pointed leaves, and perhaps soon the red blossom will come along too.

That is me today.

Slowly I am making my way through the laundry. Slowly I am going to go about my tasks, my tending. Slowly I am going to enjoy it all, the smell of Fabuloso, the feel of clean white sheets, the sight of the way this light cants through the trees which I can see through the doors flung open to the sweet, buttery warmth.

I have enough to do to fill nine days but I am not going to be frantic about any of it. I am going to be mindful and grateful and right now, sitting here, writing these words, I am letting go of the crazy-making of "must-do's" and just enjoying the bliss of the "I-cans."

That satin carpet is unrolled before me. There is no altar at the end. Today's journey is all, no destination in mind, each footstep a chosen planting in no particular direction, a gift given and quite graciously received and with each footstep, each act of tending, I am going to let myself unfold, I am going to ask for nothing but the doing, knowing that I am my own bride, my life is my meditation.

Be still, my heart. Be busy, my hands. Be open, my soul. Be gone, my exhaustion as I gently sweep you out the door with the crumbs.



For me.


  1. Me too. I want the same day. I'm tackling dirty floors and that should make me happy. I'd be happier if my hand and arm weren't throbbing from being knocked down in the ice snowmelt by my rambunctious dog child. He didn't mean too, he was just soooo very excited to play outside. It will be record breaking warm here today, though, perfect for shaking rugs outside. I'll think of you while I do....
    I am not sleeping for shit these days, and it is grinding me down to a nub. Thinking about talking to the doctor about meds to help me get some rest. But you should be tired, so much happening in your life lately. Hope you get rested soon, and hooray for good news and friends who want to stay in when you do to!
    The picture of Elvis is amazing. He is such a handsome bird, and his picture should be in my Extraordinary Chickens picture book.

  2. Beautiful.

    I hoovered, and it is good.

    But oh, the work mountains and my inefficient brain that won't do what I need it to :(

  3. Mel- Oh. I know the agony of being unable to sleep. Sleep is our daily gift, or at least one of mine! And when it is taken away from me, well. I do not accept that gracefully.
    Have you tried just the plain old over-the-counter sleep aids? A place to start if you have not.
    I hope you get ease soon in all ways.

    Jo- Don't even talk to me about inefficient brains! ARGH! Love you, dear.

  4. sounds wonderful -- an intuitive mindfulness -- and bravo for you for knowing what you need and then carrying it out --

  5. your day sounds divine. enjoy it, sweet Ms. Moon. you make a beautiful bride.

  6. This is exactly - exactly - what I needed to read today.

    Thank you.


  7. Elizabeth- I swear. I felt like I was looking at Mount Everest and someone was behind me shouting, "Climb you cocksucker! Climb!"
    Isn't that silly? All I had to do was politely say, "Not now, thanks."

    Angella- Haha! Love you, dear.

    Lisa- Good.

  8. Lovely mindful post. And may that silky white carpet lead you to a peaceful, restful sleep at the end of your productive day. x0 N2

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  10. Dear Ms. Moon.. I too am a lucky winner of a rug from Rebeccas raffle.. nice to 'meet' you

    I love & adore my home too.. moving here just six months ago from a previous home that I had loved and adored for 12 years..
    I hope you achieved all that you wanted to on this day & got some of that rest that you need xo

  11. N2- I am hoping for that, too.

    miss* R- Ah- aren't we the lucky ones? Thanks for coming by from so far away. Come back and visit any time.

    Ms. Bastard-Beloved- It started in my mind as I was e-mailing you this morning, as so often happens.

  12. That's the nicest Jehovah's Witness exchange I ever heard of. Proper witnessing by all.

    wv: poivict (!)

  13. A- Well, this young man- oh, he was darling. And one day he'll come out of the closet and cast aside the rules and he'll remember me. That's what I'm hoping.

  14. My eyes filled with tears reading this, Ms. Moon. Perfect.

  15. I am not doing laundry or floors or any of that. Today, I am going to a meeting and then to a class tonight on marine electronics and then to the boat. Tomorrow, all being well, I will get underway for three days of bliss on the boat. My time, my get away, my solitude, and my peace.

  16. Were you talking straight to me? Because that's what it felt like. I'm feeling compelled to do some housework now and enjoy it.

    I love how you were so friendly to the Jehovah's Witness. That must have made his day. Don't they come around in pairs around there? Here there's always two of them. Which makes me feel a bit less bad about just saying "no, thank you" and closing the door on them. Your way is so much better.

  17. Ms Moon, I'm a bit late in commenting on this what with sketchy Internet connection and travel. What sparked for me was your kind treatment of the JW that came to your door. I have been mean and small and this cracked open my heart.
    thank you!

  18. Angie M- It was a perfect day.

    Syd- I have lost track of days but I hope you are gently rocking on that boat with a big horizon before you.

    Mwa- Yes. There was an older gentleman in the background. He, too, was very nice.

    handsandspirit- I have not always been so kind but my heart was so filled with goodness that day that it was impossible to be anything but sweet.


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