It’s 11:26 pm, which means I have around 30 minutes to construct and publish my post for the day before it’s tomorrow. I wish I would’ve started my writing practice earlier this evening, but I was too busy obsessing over a raw foods cookbook that I swore I lent a neighbor who swore she returned it to me but which I cannot find anywhere in my house–and believe me, I looked. In the process of searching for the damned book in multiple rooms of the house, in boxes, in closets, on shelves, behind other books–I came across loads and loads of crap that I never use, and I was reminded that the clutter gene runs deep in my family.
If I should ever fool myself into thinking that I have escaped from the idiosyncrasies of my family of origin, I only have to stop in any room of my house, take a good look at its contents, and see that no, indeed, I have not escaped. My father’s hoarding has infiltrated every aspect of my life, and as much as I try, I haven’t been able to claw my way out of it.
I would like to escape. I imagine ridding myself of everything that no longer serves me and living in a bright, airy environment, surrounded by things that I love, things that are useful, things that evoke positive thoughts and feelings when I look at them. I have imagined this way of living for nearly two decades, and I have yet to realize it.
Oh, the number of times that I have prayed:
Thank you for assisting me in letting go of what no longer serves me, that I may have the space to welcome what I truly want in my life…
What am I afraid of? Why do I hold on to that slip of paper, that shirt, that pen, that ball of yarn, those books, those journals, the climbing gear, the shoes?
Am I that stuck in my ways that I can’t just let go? What am I so afraid of?
Twenty-two minutes to midnight…I haven’t sat for my evening meditation yet either.
Time for a poem and a quick meditation before it’s tomorrow.
I found myself hurrying again out of habit today,
then stopping myself and reminding myself that no hurry was necessary.
When I would relax for a moment,
the panic would set in, and say,
“No, this isn’t right! You must be tense,
you must hurry, or something bad will happen.”
When I would catch myself in the act of such thinking
it was almost funny to notice how this war just keeps going on,
I was amused to see that in fact
I could just slow down and actually enjoy the drive to the grocery store
I could in fact enjoy the grocery store with my son in the cart,
just wheeling along
I could actually enjoy the drive to my daughter’s school
on the way to pick her up.
I could just…enjoy.
I could, you know.
I explored this idea many times before,
and still it keeps coming back and asking
for more exploration:
What is wrong with simply slowing down and enjoying this life?
Why does each moment have to be a race to the next thing?
Why has this hurry sickness become so normal in my life
that it feels threatening to let it go for even a moment?
And how about the irony of being a yoga teacher with road rage?
This is why I have no “Peace, Love, Happiness”
No “Lovingkindness is My Religion”
No, none of those bumper stickers on my car
What a joke that would be, darting in front of someone so that they could read,
“Visualize world peace”
on the tail end of my car as I impatiently zoom around them
sometimes mentally flipping them the bird
The irony of hurrying to my writing practice tonight,
just like I hurry through the day,
a sense of guilt
a sense of regret
a sense of not good enough
the perfectionist in me is screaming right now
not enough time to refine, to proofread, to edit
never enough time for perfection
The sadness of leaving myself very little time to just be
Sadness at seeing how I avoid the one thing that can restore me to sanity
Oh dear…patience I guess
I can’t hurry healing or enlightenment either
maybe this was all meant to be this way
maybe I have all the time I need to wake up
maybe it’s okay that my house is disorganized and cluttered
maybe it’s okay that I’m a yoga teacher who gets stressed out
maybe it’s okay to be imperfect, to be human
It’s 11:55. Time to publish this imperfect poem
written by this imperfect human.