Thursday, June 3, 2010
Comparing my life to a house? It might look like this:
When I became old enough, I knew it was time to set off into the mystery and promise of my adult life. I knew I had to set up a house.
Upon moving in, I found myself overwhelmed with the weight of my life. I had bulky, heavy boxes of the past...things that I wanted to store in the dark, musty attic and forget about, but instead, dumped in the front hallway, obstructing the door. I had the clutter of the present, shoved haphazzardly into cupboards and kitchen drawers, causing me to feel like those things of importance, that need to be attended to today...are just beyond grasp in the unattainable... and not readily available or easily retrievable. And finally...those bright velvet, jewelled little boxes...full of gleaming hopes and soul defining dreams...for some reason, these were the belongings I decided to stow away in the darkness of the rooftop rafters.
I chose to look at the walls as a burden to paint, instead of a canvas to be created. I often knew that I would sleep much more peacefully, if I would just climb the stairs...but was sometimes too lazy to move upwards to find relief. The couch was ok...but it wasn't where I was meant to sleep.
And those boxes..in the front hallway, that inhibited my easy access to the life outside of the house? I chose to step over them...day after day...and to be reminded of their contents with every glance, to be hurt all over again by the broken things inside when I would catch a sharp corner with a bare knee, or a baby toe. I chose to let them obscure the direct path of possibility, just on the other side of the door. Only I could open the door from the inside, to allow myself a formal introduction to a world that I can wrap my arms around, and identify as my own unique place.
The clean up began one morning...my house was well lived in by now, and nothing shocked me, until a storm blew open that front door. A violent, unforgiving gust blew through my home...and upturned the familiar. The boxes at the front door were obliterated, and the contents were spilled and strewn. The cupboards and closets were blown open..and the chaos of the present was tossed about into random corners and doorways.
As I threw up my hands in disbelief....I felt a strange release of my identity. Those things that had stood in my way, were exposed and identified for what they were... the useless, fatally damaged debris of a life freckled with sadness and misfortune. Those possessions of the present, that should have been put away properly from the start, would now require a place in my home where they work FOR me, not in opposition.
And just as the sweeping was almost complete...the remnants and rubble placed outside the door...the items of the present finding their new lot in my world, a shockingly beautiful thing happened.
Another surge of wind whipped around my house...and took the roof clear off. As I stood in confounded disbelief, and bewildering frustration, I saw things begin to fall. I saw those bright velvet, jewelled little boxes... as they fell in a circle around me. They did not break or shatter, or lose their precious contents...but they did reveal to me, that which I had long forgotten about in the dusty, ignored attic up above. They landed with lids open, and treasure exposed...and I realised this: my gleaming hopes, and soul defining dreams are always surrounding me...above, in front of and behind me, and are infinitely more accessible if I keep my house in order, and let the irrepairable, broken things stay where they happen... outside my front door.