Thursday, August 14, 2008

Layers of Life

The days become shorter, softer.

For many, it's time to start fall cleaning.
To organize closets and garages and basements.
To purge, eliminate and sort through the "junk of life".

My walk-in closet is sadly a step-in closet.
My linen closet is a board game, luggage, old towels, forgotten purses, unused jackets, and stuffed animal storage.
My garage is "Where did this stuff come from?" storehouse- a medley of wood scraps, rusty tools, worn rakes, and discarded furniture.

But, to be able to set out on a fall cleaning mission-
I feel as though I have to be psyched up, in the right mood, or forced at gunpoint to begin the whole energy-draining project.

This morning I woke up with the realization
that there is more that needs cleaning than my house and garage.
I woke up, stared at the ceiling, drank my coffee,
sat in the silence of my empty house -
and began to think...

It's time for some soul cleaning.

To dig deep inside my heart, air my faults
and bring my bad habits into the light.
Today I feel the need to look into the mirror and really see
the kind of person I am.

Sometimes I think we are so comfortable with ourselves
that we fail to see what others see.
And, in the process, I think we risk the possibility
of being callous and insensitive- or indifferent
toward those we love the most.

I have always thought of myself as a good person.
I have no known enemies.
I like everyone.
I am friendly.

But,this morning, I dug below the surface -
discovered the layers-
the thin- almost invisible layers that other people notice.

For example, my quirky sense of humor.
To me, that's just how I think-
a little sarcastically, a little sharp -
and with no real thought of how it might be received.
And, digging even deeper, I wonder if there is
a subliminal maliciousness to my behavior.

Then the layers begin falling away.
Sometimes I am greedy, insensitive, selfish, and slovenly.
I am unorganized, non-structured and fail to have solid plans.
I need to be more thankful, more alive and energetic...
I need to pray more.

How is it that my dreams have died?
I guess I quit dreaming a long time ago.
I am so set in my ways that I have had no real desire to
spread my wings or change my ways.

It's not a pity party.
I certainly am not feeling sorry for myself.
I am simply looking at myself
for the first time in a long time.
And I grow aware of changes that need to be made.

I need to lose weight, eat healthier, be more thrifty,
and think before I speak.
I need to rid myself of clutter and junk mail, (and those old tiny jeans
that I keep hoping I'll fit into again).
I need to search my heart for what others expect of me
and what characteristics truly make up my soul.
I have plenty of room to be a better wife, mother, Nana, and sister.

Yes, I'm fall cleaning today.

I drink my coffee, open the windows,
watch the sun as it rises over the August landscape.
And I bare my soul-
release the rubbish
and cleanse myself of layers no longer needed-
ugly veils of veneer that are no longer attractive or

They take flight and disappear into the morning sky.

And suddenly, I begin to dream...