no way around it

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

so tired

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

19 buckets


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
and held
in what trauma
leaves behind.

may 5, 10:07-


and when it rises, i will tend to it.

no way around it.



















Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s