Monday, April 12, 2010

Metaphysical Dangers

What a weekend I just had! To begin my story, I have to share that the cord snapped in our honeycomb-style blinds on our sliding door. So I woke up Saturday with one goal in my fuzzy little head: See if we can fix the blinds.

Upon putting the blinds on the back deck and laying out the brick-a-brack associated with it, I decided that if I untied the knots in the remaining cord, we’d probably be in business. So I sat down on the deck, in the lusty sun of a Rocky Mountain spring morning, and got to untying the 8 year old knots created by the previous homeowner and left to us to untie 5 years after buying the home. The previous homeowner had an infuriating obsession with knotting and reknotting the cords, by the way, and it was an Olympic task to get it all undone. It was like those zen rituals you hear about in romance novels where the monk sits on a ledge and thinks about untying knots and ends up revealing the nature of the universe and crap.

That’s really what it turned into for me as well. I sat there, hunched over my work, unknotting this infuriating knot, and just got totally zen’ed out about it. The neighbor dog (some two-pound idiot, battery-operated, barkmatic, obscenity of a dog) yip-yip-yippa-yipped at me the entire time. For an hour I was hunched over this knot, hands shaking at times, just untying. The ol’ brain gets to thinking a lot when untying knots like this. The ol’ brain starts to analyze the absurdity of it all, and starts tuning into how the wind sounds, and starts focusing on how the heat of the sun falls in waves across bare skin, and how the tenor of the dog’s voice fluctuates based on if the dog thinks the owner is within earshot or not. And then suddenly I was: Plugged. In.

Like, I was so there. You know? Suddenly every single sparrow feather in the whole neighborhood was clear as day before me as I saw now three steps ahead in the untying process, now four, now seven. I was breathing evenly and not squinting or gnashing my teeth and not "hovering" anymore so much as just sitting and I was THIS close to actually hearing the music of the planets.

Y’all, I was THERE! It was a giant bowl of awesome. Just untying this knot I was untying my brains and not in the scary slippery-slope way I usually mean when I talk about stuff like this.

When it was all untied, and a pile of curled-up window-blind cord lay before me, I felt crazy relaxed, crazy triumphant, crazy tuned in and just mostly serenely, supremely, satisfyingly, genuinely crazy. Turns out, I was right about the untying, there was about 2 feet of cord tied up in that knot (I told you it was an Olympic task!) and now that it was untied, I could suddenly hear the grass grow and feel the pulse of the tectonic plate beneath me. There was but one thing to do: get to work. Fetch water, chop wood, and all. You know?So then, after the whole hour of un-knotting things, I set to crawling through the flowerbeds and pulling out dead stuff and re-planting last year’s seeds and fluffing up the evergreens and so on. That took 2.5 hours.

Flowerbeds looking spectacular, universe still thrumming happily away in my brains, and now sweaty and filthy as could be, I called it a day and went in for a shower. I was still so plugged in, that shower was amazing. Every drop of water fell like slow motion. Smells of soil and dry leaves were replaced with smells of sweat and sun-baked hair and finally with perfume-y soaps and shampoo. The cat napped in a square of sunlight on the floor, raised her head to blink slowly at me, and I, wrapped up in my towel could only look back at her and say “I know, right?” I was so THERE.

So what does one do with a belly full to bursting with epiphany and zenlike calm? After a hot shower and a long pull of room-temperature green tea, one goes online and checks out the news. Catastrophe in a coal mine, tragedy in Poland, gods… it was awful. I turned it off quickly. The main squeeze got home at that moment and I was eager to share my euphoric state of mind. I moved gingerly to the stairs – gingerly because I was already feeling stiff and sore from the morning’s labors – and called out to him. He waited for me at the bottom of the stairs so I went down them, as I have done a thousand times before.

Except this time, I missed a step and fell the last 4 feet down the stairs.
What does one do when one’s brain is bristling with serenity?
One falls down the damned stairs.
That is what one does.

Like a plate of spaghetti on the floor, I landed. I landed hard, but not hard enough to break anything. All my insides stayed in and not a one of those insides split or snapped or broke or anything. Just some of my outsides picked up a few new shades of purple. No doctors needed. Just loads and loads of Ibuprofen. Being a career clumsy idiot has few benefits, but at least it lends itself to quick and accurate self-diagnosis after [another] tumble down the stairs.

And now, still oozing with metaphysical delight and feeling dangerously plugged in (dangerous because I have to go to work and this frame of mind always makes me so damned distractable), I am covered in bruises and wounded dignity. I am also still warm and still filled with fluffy delight at my still overwhelmingly positive experiences from yesterday. The gross rugburn on my arm can’t outshine the thumping peace I felt yesterday, and the bruised and battered muscles all down my left side can’t overwhelm the relaxation I felt as I finally, triumphantly, undid that last knot.

And so, there we are, gentle reader. My weekend. May the week bring all of us more of the writhing orgy of springtime that abounds, more of the growing things, the flying things, and the shining things.

And may we all remember to get a good grip on the banister.

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