may 4, 6:58-
my laundry room, dimly lit by bare bulbs with a shock of white light from a single window, multiple wood styles of paneling, piles of ignored clothes and blankets, cat food, cat water, cat litter, hard as rock remnants of dog shit, walls holding precious baby clothes and crayon drawings sending me back to years gone by.
ankle deep in water.
now on a foundation of water. water that simply needs to be removed. in an hour, i dumped over 125 gallons of water. for the first half hour, the water was deep enough that the machine could run with the hose laying on the ground while i dumped the bucket; within ten seconds, the shop vac was full, calling me with a high pitched whirr. then: dump into bucket, turn machine back on, angle hose to water, walk away to dump bucket, come back to turn off machine, dump into bucket and repeat.
about twenty minutes into the process, i felt a smile and could see the parallels to my life. and like my grandmother, i found what i could to scribble notes and musings.
reading them the next morning, i see the process of water removal mirroring the process of healing. from overwhelming to all consuming auto-pilot to more restful, methodical to angry and resentful to acceptance and a willingness to pause to calling it good enough for now with a commitment to tending the water should it rise again.
an hour of notes as the water clears:
i can’t think of anything other than, “there has to be another way”
mind racing through options: a bigger shop vac won’t help, i can’t lift more than 6 gallons my back already hurts, time is passing, the water already smells
got a message from a friend, “no way around it.”
like peeling potatoes, just do it
less squeamish, willing to slosh through the water that i would normally avoid
every time i turned the machine off, the vacuum is released and water would push back into the flow
careless spilling, don’t see value in trying to keep all water in bucket when pouring…reminds me of being desperate to heal
starting to be able to think
start to count the number of buckets i’m emptying and keep track
obsessively. i’m at 17
start to see what i’m grateful for: i took the carpet out months ago. i moved all my clothes upstairs months ago.
see the value in this one-person job
i can empty one, let it fill on own, empty next
as water lessens i need to hold the hose, the water is too low, focus required
there is a temptation to move around to pick up water, no value in that
thanks to literal shit in the water, i can hold the hose still and see that there is movement
stay still and let the machine do its job
satisfaction in watching
metaphor: trust there is movement even when it can’t be seen, look for specks of proof, stay curious
recognizing company would be nice
places i thought were dry slowly fill
i can see it happen
resent other people as i pull literal thread and hair and cat litter from clogged drain, slowing my process
thinking i’m almost done, i find new places of inch deep water
yet with it new places to secure hose
i smile knowingly
resentment fades, my power in choice to work rises
more time to write in the midst
my body is sore, recognizing where i could be stronger
shop vac smelling hot, process needing a break
recognizing none of this is anyone’s fault
hidden places hide shit you didn’t know was there
life goes on as you work: dogs ate 2 pizzas as i worked, cats hiding, chickens calling
kids took care of their evening needs
everything left behind is ruined
everything cared about was already safe in a new space
water comes from nowhere and everywhere
unnecessary things will clog process: random plastic bags interrupt
the hole in the ground: going back to a depressed area is an indicator of how things are-truth.
when all water is gone, it’s still not done
however, the floor will be cleaner than it ever has been
some things are ruined
things i put here
no shame, just awareness
the past shows proof
i’m done. not angry. not calculated. don’t need external praise. proud. satisfied. ready to rest.
when i decide to be done, i take a picture and the window is reflected in a tiny pool of water.
i didn’t know what the metaphor would be when i started and i knew i would find one. the wisest part of me showed up and i could see my growth.
real life is fleetingly
in what trauma
may 5, 10:07-
and when it rises, i will tend to it.
no way around it.