Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Talking Myself Down
Though I love cleaning, I do not love it when I lapse into what I call a "cleaning frenzy." Yes indeed it's possible to overclean, I can attest to it from personal experience. Moderation is good in all things, even a humble activity like cleaning.
I'm just emerging, as I write, from a serious cleaning frenzy. I can feel the adrenaline still running in my veins, even though I've had a shower, and a nice tall glass of water, and have been sitting here looking at the computer for awhile. It was an intense frenzy, I tell you. Yikes!
Unhinging one of my personal folk tales, a.k.a. "I Hate the Holidays," got me all enthusiastic about working with other myths, ones that maybe aren't as good for me as they could be, plotlines that actually work against me. For instance, "Romance Isn't My Best Thing." Within that story there are tales of awful hook-ups as well as disastrous long term relationships, but somehow over the years, as I've told and retold this bedtime story in my mind, the parts of my romantic past that actually did work have disappeared, erased over time from negligence. The truth is, my romantic life has been hit AND miss - sometimes simulaneously! I have always been commitment averse, which might be why at certain times I headed straight for the relationship that would be the very worst thing for me. Those relationships were guaraneed not to work.
Commitment-phobic, non-monogamous, and lousy with hormones, coming of age in the late 1960's, I really wasn't built for solid, grounded, long-lasting partnerships. No wonder, once upon a time, I was so enamored with men I could never "have" - married men and such. Unwinding these core personal myths has been really potent, healing and illuminating. Wow.
As you can imagine, a lot of enthusiasm has attended these recent discoveries. I'm working hard on brand new interpretations, brand new translations, of my personal myths. The cleaning frenzy is a perfect symptom of my work recently, re-inventing my own history. I'm overcleaning because I'm thinking so hard.
One great piece of wisdom that comes from the heroines of fairytales is that when you've finished your chores, stop! Take a walk or rest or brush your hair, go get lost in a forest, meet a handsome prince. Enough is enough! Oh yeah!
Thanks Hans Christan Andersen, thanks Charles Perraultt and all those who wrote down the fairytales, even the Brothers Grimm! Thanks too, to Jack Zipes, Jane Yolen, Diane Volkstein, Clarissa Pinkola-Estes and other contemporary scholars who helped me see how complex these stories really are!