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!

15 comments:

NanU said...

Spectacular tree photo, Reya. Isn't it cool how something so simple and constant as a tree is also such a complex work of art.

Good luck with the cleaning out of your head! I do admire your self-awareness.

Reya Mellicker said...

Or is it self-involvement??

Sandra Leigh said...

No, I think self-awareness was right on (said Sandra, butting in). I admire it, as well.

I also admire you for cleaning while you think. I should cultivate that habit. I'm much more likely to walk, or sit, staring at the wall, neither of which does anything to relieve the general clutter.

I am reminded of my sister who envies people who can't eat when they're stressed out. She says "When I'm stressed out, I eat and I eat and I eat. And I've had a very stressful life."

willow said...

Getting lost in a forest sounds good about now.

Jenny Stevning said...

The pause...
I never did that through my 20's .
As I finish out my 30's I am learning how important it is to stop...pause...and "get lost."

lakeviewer said...

Reya, you allude to the complexities of fairy tales here and in previous posts. Would you care to elaborate?

ellen abbott said...

Remember Reya, you create your own reality. The stories you create for yourself are likely the ones that will be.

Ronda Laveen said...

I see that all relationships are hit and miss. Romantic, business, personal...even when you remain with the same person for many, many years. You hit. You miss. And so forth and so on. Fa, La, la, la, la. It's an age old song.

Love the new "night pix."

steven said...

oh reya i searched and searched for "commitment" like it was the be all and end all of everything and you know what i was sort of right. it was the end of everything!!!! i'm still figuring it all out . . . . peace/ steven

Chris Wolf said...

I wrote a song a few years ago and the chorus was "It'll be alright in the end, and if it's not alright, then it ain't over yet!"
You're paving a marvelous path toward a lovely relationship, long or short, it will truly be a happy one. I believe it!

Reya Mellicker said...

Chris, really? Wow. How cool!

Steven I believe I am now, finally, in a hormonal balance that would allow commitment, monogamy. Really strange fairytale, this one!

Chris Wolf said...

Here's a clip-if you're interested....http://wolfpiano.com/alright_in_the_end.html

Barbara Martin said...

Reya, with all your cleaning and cleansing you are headed for a new awakening...where everything will be mostly perfect.

hele said...

i once took Ayahuasca in order to face my greatest fear. i was good and scared before hand - expecting skulls and being buried alive and so forth.

but i never expected neon green and pink polka dot flatness with japanese pop playing in the background. no meaning or something to wrestle with just weariness of the meaninglessness of existence.

i have no idea why i'm sharing this in response to your post it just popped out when i thought of rewriting my own tale.

Karen said...

I don't have anything important to say about storytelling, except that it's everything. (Especially for me: it's how I make my living--reading and interpreting stories--and I truly believe that we're all hard-wired to need stories... but I don't have anything new to say. :) ) What I wanted to comment on is the first photo. I am absolutely STRUCK by the shapes of the branches. There's something important going on there, maybe a story being told there, right there in that shape... wow...