Sunday, March 28, 2004

I expected to post today with some sort of horror story.

Saturday night, I had a group of friends over to my house for a book club meeting.

Two things: 1) I’ve never been involved in a book club of any sort. 2) I make friends reluctantly and sparingly, and participate in so few social activities as to consider myself gathering-challenged.

I have no horrors to report. It went well.

But here, I’m about to get all profound.

I was cleaning my house, and as I swept dust bunnies the size of grown cats from under my couch, I thought back to my mother’s style of house cleaning: ignore what you can’t see. We fervently ignored unseen corners of closets, boxes of clutter, papers and dust shoved under our beds. We ignored it all, the corners growing more and more horrifying, until they reached critical mass and began to spill out into the clean, clear center spaces.

Such a wonderful metaphor.

My mother has recently come to the same conclusion I have, that maybe a proactive approach is the way to go. As we speak, she’s pecking away at a lifetime of unaddressed issues in the basement. I like to think I cleared out most of my own baggage when I moved out, but it’s likely she’s still keeping a few pieces, ready to drag them out for re-examination whenever I visit.

I’m hoping to teach my own kids not to avoid the dark places. If they’re filled with dust, it’s your dust. And if you wind up covered with it, well, you can always shower later. Own the corners, or they’ll own you. Dust bunnies don't have teeth. Even if they did, Mr. Clean is one mean mutha-effah.

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