Do any of you have a drawer like this? It’s in my kitchen, it’s the second drawer down, I use it every day: it always looks like this.
Things get stuck inside other things, things get put in the wrong way round, upside down, unconfined, out of order. Things lie against the grain. Sideways on. I can never find what I want for looking. And it drives me bananas.
I tidy it every now and then. I lay the contents in the same direction, moan at everyone for not putting things back properly, and extract promises that all will try harder. Everyone nods and smile obligingly, but the next time I open the drawer… it’s chaos again. It occurred to me that the drawer is pretty much like life. We do our damnedest to keep things straight – but they just doesn’t work out the way we want it to. And maybe we should just learn to live with it.
Take yesterday – I woke up with a plan for the day. I got up, made scones for breakfast and the world tilted on its axis. I was nauseous, giddy, my stomach was in revolt, my joints and muscles sore. No partying the night before, so I must have picked up a virus. Nothing else for it – I went back to bed and slept all day.
And dreamt about that drawer.
I was digging through it, looking for a protractor. I couldn’t find the two pronged pointer under the bottle opener, salad tongs or meat thermometer. And was becoming more and more irritated. Eventually I slammed it shut – whatever angles I was intent on measuring, remained un-appraised.
There’s nothing like feeling gut-sick to get you thinking about life. And so, when I woke: I did. Retracing my steps through various recent scenarios, checking if I had laid things the right way round. If I had gone with the flow or disrupted the symmetry. I came up wanting in some instances, ahead in others and about even in the rest. I made some resolves, I cancelled others, I reviewed my decisions. I vacillated.
And then I went back to sleep. By the time I woke again the contents of my mental drawer were straightened out. My stomach had settled and I was ready for a scone.
Apparently a sick day was what I needed to get my mind sorted. That and a body that is capable of healing itself. As the vegan sage said on Facebook: “It’s a beautiful thing to have lungs that allow you to breathe air and legs that allow you to climb mountains, and it’s a shame that sometimes we don’t realise that that’s enough.”
Well, that and a nicely tidied kitchen drawer.