when troubled by my emotions...i clean. it's my safe haven.
(i once cried my eyes out while hand-washing all the floors of my old apartment with just a cloth rag and a bucket.)
today, i was engulfed by my emotions. i spent the majority of my time deep cleaning our forgotten basement. hulling huge bins of seasoned clothing and neglected exercise equipment and barely-used baby strollers and out-grown high chairs out to the garage. i wiped down wooden surfaces, dusted hardback books and 3 feet tall statues, sprayed and vacuumed, both, couch and carpet until they, both reeked of cleanliness. i rearranged furniture, took down old photographs and hung vintage art from my father's (r.i.p) home until i had, subconsciously, redecorated the entire basement.
but i am still ill-at-ease. my finger-tips are wrinkled from cleaning solutions and my body is tired from the moving. i make a quick lunch: baked french fries and a garden salad. i clean the stove, irritation fueling the soapy circular motions i make on it's surface. i look down and see my reflection. my hair is matted on one side and my eyes, like black holes: dark, never-ending and the ability to pull anybody into them against their will. this isn't working. i still feel...distant...and slightly somber. maybe i should cry? i shrug. tears do nothing. the laughter of my child keeps me from drowning in my own thoughts, keeps me as close to light as possible. i sigh. today is just one of those days where my emotions need to be felt. i'm sure there is a lesson here. there is always a lesson. and sometimes, just sometimes, i simply tire of learning them...
these statues belonged to my father. we put them on an alter during his second memorial service (the first was islamic and closed to everyone except the immediate family and fellow muslims from the community) and i bought them home when it was over. he loved them, along with a smaller set of maasai warriors, in action, spears aimed at various guests, that sat at the center of his coffee table. standing three feet tall, these statues are very much like him: larger than most would believe, regal in their simplicity and so rare you're unaware of their magic until you're close enough to actually feel them.