Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tricksters Among Us

The trickster gods, for surely there must be more than one, picked my name today or, more likely, had me in their sights days ago when the high jinks were kicked off.

It is in my nature - and heritage - to have what we shall call an indifference to housework that can run longer than "The Fantastiks." Factor in fatigue, mobility issues, pointless angst over most uncontrollable human variables and a lifelong kinship with Ferdinand the Bull - just lead me to the field of flowers - and ordinary, probably normal, tasks go undone for lengths of time that make me want to leave home. At one time I considered that my life was pocked like a glacier with chasms not of ice but of apathy and I would drop into them, leaving matters of some consequence unattended. Then I became disturbingly tired and disconnected, still disinclined to just take up the dust cloths and have at it, possibly overcoming a great weariness and making my surroundings more hospitable in the process.

In this home those, um, tendencies were once overcome by having a twice monthly meeting of fellow artists here. Those glad occasions went on for a few years and kept tidiness at a level which didn't induce shame but a very hot summer and the option of central air moved our group to a new location. My motivation moved with it.

The recent visit of a dear and lifelong friend gave me the desire to have all in some sort of order, not perfection but something livable. What it did not give me was the enduring energy to keep getting up every day and whittling, whittling until it was done. She among all my friends truly knows of the chasms, the history that created them and the challenge of, yet again, climbing back out and pressing on. At least for her visit we had habitable spots where we could visit and eat and spend time together. I have come to believe that she loves me for myself and not for my exhausting attempts to be thought, well, normal.

Then came the notice of Edison crews due to replace ancient light fixtures, overseen by our building manager, a woman of order and efficiency and my shrieking mind took over, horrified by the state of some corners of our small kingdom. And the gods were with me, bringing strength, some stamina, willingness, humor and pleasure at the segments which became the cleanest. The upgrading process was set to begin at 9 a.m. today, after a day of moderate, steady rain with more to follow this morning. I was far from what I would consider a comfort zone and started in at 3:30 going room by room - some of them pretty acceptable, others better seen in dim light. As I started the last self-assigned chore of the morning, changing the bed, the phone rang and our resident manager's wife, with whom I had shared my stress level, told me they weren't coming and might not be rescheduled. Other residents had stayed home to watch over pets or just to see that all went least I was going to be here anyway. But after the call I sat and laughed, somewhat shaky and aching and looking forward to a peaceful afternoon napping or watching the clouds, smelling not the flowers but furniture polish and Lime-A-Way, having been prodded into discovering unknown energy, rediscovering the pleasure of our comfortable apartment and feeling that some border of resistance had been crossed while protective forces looked on. Benevolent, protective affirming and with a true, yet almost disturbingly true sense of knowing me for exactly what I am and exactly what I needed. Thank you.


Erin Perry said...

Ah, while maybe not as long a run as "The Fantastiks" (extremely funny line!)this week as we get ready for Open Studios, we have managed to find things not moved or dusted since moving in 5 years ago, Part of me wants to say "but they're just coming to see the art", while the more reasonable side knows the place has to look good as well. I really would love to have a wonderfully clean house on a regular basis - but it seems there are always things I'd so much rather be doing; art, reading, walking on the beach, napping - the list is endless!

Lisa Hoffman said...

..and sometimes we just need PROOF.

Between the visit from the beloved friend and the Edison False Alarm, there seems to be a slow and steady shift toward Chasm-Healing.