Saturday, July 23, 2011

Leave the House? Oh, no!

I smiled, of course, when I read MandT's cheerful response to my "cobwebs in the attic" post yesterday. "Don't clean out the attic...," it read. "Just leave the house... :)"

But I have to admit it bugged me a bit, too. It lodged uncomfortably in one of those odd crannies in the brain and kept nagging at me all day. When I thought about it, I realized what my problem was. The only "house" my mind has is this body that I walk around in--and I have no intention of leaving it just yet if I can help it. Yes, it creaks and groans a bit, but it's still serviceable enough, and I have things I still want to do.

Besides, I know there's real value in the work of cleaning out the attic. It's good to discover what I'm storing away in all those old boxes and steamer trunks, because then I'm in a good place to let it go. I'm much more likely to hold on to it if it's hidden away, because then I have an excellent excuse: after all, I wouldn't want to trash stuff that might turn out to be valuable--like my grandfather's mint copy of Martin Chuzzlewit or that stamp album from my boyhood replete with Victorian penny blacks. And I hope it's obvious that I'm not talking about the material stuff and its monetary value; like the attic itself, I mean this as no more than a metaphor for things of deeper and more lasting significance.

There are things packed away in there, too, that could have a hold on me without my even knowing it--that old emotional baggage that tends to get stuck in often ignored corners of the mind and gum up its smooth operation. It behooves me to bring them out into the light and examine them before I trash them, because otherwise who knows what messy remnants I might leave behind.

So, no. Assuming that I'm going to hang out on this planet a bit longer, better to keep working on the only house I have. And I do realize that this is not exactly what MandT had in mind when offering that kindly, presumably tongue-in-cheek advice! For which, and for these further thoughts, I thank them...

1 comment:

mandt said...

Actually Peter, that response came after reading Barbara Platek's interview of Marc Ian Barasch in the August issue of the 'Sun.' Barasch's writings include ,' Healing Dreams: Exploring Dreams That Can Transform Your Life.' Etc.... You might know Barasch as a practicing Buddhist associated with the Naropa Institute.