Sunday, October 14, 2007


During a rather abysmal attempt at a carefree, spontaneous weekend out of the city (there have been many of these failed experiences, but that’s a topic for another installment), I found myself doing something I hadn’t done in a very long time – frantically cleaning up the apartment.

I’m not quite sure what caused it… There were very different plans for this long weekend. I was supposed to go up to a mountain retreat to do some overdue writing. The first crink in that plan came on the first day when I found that I simply couldn’t get out of bed. I wasn’t sick, there were no undue symptoms of anything, so I’m guessing it was a physiological strike against the exhausting rhythm of the previous two weeks. Either way, day 1 went to what I can now admit was badly needed rest. I’m actually still a little dazed about day 2 as well… I know that I did get up reasonably early, and drove myself up for a mountain barbecue. That didn’t take up all day, but I’m unclear about how the rest of the day was spent. I do know, however, that two thirds of the weekend had passed and I still hadn’t done any writing.

Which brings us to day 3 – frantic cleaning day. Waking up a couple of hours after my alarm clock(s) had gone off, I surrendered plainly to the failure of any attempt to write. I walked into my living room to find the chaos that had gone unnoticed during my 2-day daze, and weeks of spending little time at home. This scene coupled with the underlying guilt of not having been productive led to what can only be described as my nesting frenzy. Like a woolen sweater that unravels when you pull that loose thread, I was suddenly coasting through the house inch by inch, clearing up and throwing stuff in my wake. Newspapers were dumped, articles (that had been apparently waiting to be read or marked for a couple of years) were filed, DVD’s were put away, books were stacked… But it went on beyond just cleaning – I was cooking whatever I had in the freezer (and as too much was defrosted, I suddenly found myself creating concoctions with minimal, unreplenished seasoning to be consumed over the week), burning incense that I had long forgotten, hanging up trinkets that had been lying aside for aaaages, clearing pots for fresh planting… I tell you, it was insane! It was as if I wanted to galvanize and maintain each corner of the house.

And though I am the last one to deny my own insanity, I think the clear link to instinct is just too obvious here. Aside from the possible effects of changing seasons and an innate sense of putting things right before winter drives us indoors, I don’t truly think my senses are that attuned to the seasons. Quite simply, after losing control of my body, and my time within the span of two days, I suppose I was being instinctively propelled to reclaim my space.

At least my nest is now in order.

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