Thursday, January 04, 2007
That January Feeling
I don't know which I like better; hauling all my Christmas stuff out of storage and covering every square centimeter in holiday cheer, or getting that "January feeling". As much as I'm horrified at the thought of overflowing landfills, my garbage pile in the first weeks of a new year are always notable. I feel ruthless and minimalist as I purge the house of irritating clutter, and long for clean swept horizontal spaces. Notice that I specified what type of clutter, for in my home it will always not only exist, but be embraced. I love my collections and clean spaces always land up looking like a canvas to me.
And so the house will undergo some changes.
Its an old truth, but I'm reminded again that the only constant in life (besides the big, obvious, holy ones) is change. Our bodies, our families, our circumstances, our friends. They will all be subject to the forces of time and change. It seems valuable to explore the emotion attached to that reality. I want to say that I'm good with the constant flux, for it would indeed be dull if each day mimicked the one before, and there's nothing duller and more depressing than that person we can all picture who bucked change and left their lives as predictable as possible. So, I welcome fresh winds that blow in. New friends, new ideas, changes in the seasons, and countless other events.
But I'm not the swiftest salmon in the stream and I'm left feeling like I'm getting pulled back towards the falls. Or worse- into such shallow waters that there's no room to swim. My brain knows some things, and pretends to own them with some confidence, but then goes on an immediate "snooze" mode at the most crucial moments. Like a narcoleptic at a press conference.
So, I'd like some changes- I'd like to grow some muscle where the fat has moved in. But I'm too tired, and I'm afraid to get increasingly preoccupied with the inconsequential exterior. I'd like to grow in my love of God, but I've so many people tell me so many versions of the absolute truth, that I want to hear no more. I'd like to watch the news and read the paper with some regularity so I don't feel like an ignorameous with a finger up her nose when people discuss events. But I'm not a good reader, and besides I need glasses, and when I watch the news I either fall asleep, or become distracted speculating on whether the anchor is happily married, at peace, or whether she has menstrual cramps on that particular day. I'd like to teach the kids more, but usually when they ask me great questions, I haven't a clue what the answer is. ("Why is most stuff made in China? When can you take me to have my wart burnt off? Where is Quatar? If we still lived in our old house, would I still be sharing my room?") I want to be a less distracted childcare provider, but they keep expecting to eat stuff, and pee into clean toilets, and know where their blankies and soothers are at all times.
If I were Beth Moore, or Mrs Graham, or someone along those lines, I could leave you a scripture that would just nicely tie this all together and leave you inspired. I must, however, confess that its Geneen Roth again who I hear in my seive-like head. "Feelings don't go away because you're afraid of them". Well, neither will change. So, people will continue to die, tall buildings pulled down and others erected, kindred spirits may disagree.
The process is not nearly as predictable and immediately gratifying as January clear-out. It seems a lot of the less tangible "stuff" that I thought I'd hauled to the curb years ago has grown legs and crawled back to the house. With a bit of providence, I'll hope for the next change to be a set of wings grown spontaneously so that I, or the unwelcomed company, can fly away.