Friday, July 22, 2011


Ellie returns from up north today, and George and I will both be happy to see her. George has been very subdued these past few days, mostly hanging around by the door as though awaiting her return. He looks at me questioningly sometimes, and sleeps close at night. Don't try telling me that dogs are less intelligent than we humans are. It's just intelligence of a different kind. In some respects, they are way ahead of us.

He had to spend a good deal of the day yesterday on his own, while I was out helping our daughter, Sarah, with the packing to get ready for her move on Sunday. It's amazing how much junk we manage to accumulate in our lives. I found myself wishing that she'd just throw a lot of it away, or at least have a giant garage sale when she gets to the new house. It's a lot more spacious, but it can still get cluttered really quickly if she doesn't take care.

Not my business, I remind myself. But it reminds me of all the clutter in my own life; and not only the material stuff, but the clutter in my mind. This morning, as I sat in meditation, I could not help but notice how full it was, like an old attic nobody has visited for years, where I have simply thrown the stuff I was too lazy to take care of and chose, instead, to store away somewhere where I wouldn't have to see it. It's all now covered with layers of dust and draped with stringy cobwebs. I try to pick my way through it, appalled at all the boxes that I dread to open and the stacks of ancient and decaying books.

Have I mentioned that I have returned to working on the book that I shelved a few months ago, in favor of something more like a sequel to Persist? It is called, tentatively, This Is Not Me, from my favorite mantra, "This is not me, this is not mine, this is not who I am"; and the subtitle might be "Shedding Delusions." It's about, precisely, clearing out that attic I'm talking about--clearing out those old parts of myself that I no longer need, but insist on clinging onto like that clutter in the attic. It's about looking for clarity, for that clear, bright mind that I hear spoken of, but have never quite managed to find.


mandt said...

Don't clean out the attic....just leave the house.... :)

Sue said...

Hello there. Flown in on the Google surfboard.

I would be interested in hearing more about your "This is not me, this is not mine" mantra if you cared to share. Might help me move out some of those dusty boxes in my own attic ;)