But then I started to think about how cleaning is an important part of military training-- cleaning bathrooms with toothbrushes, excessive and scrupulous grooming, ironing, etc. And cleaning and manual labor are an important element of many monastic orders (at least those that I've studied), because it helps one focus the soul and teaches one something about humility.
And then I started remembering what I was thinking about when I cleaned Noah's bathroom. Keeping one's space clean is a way of showing respect and caring for the people you choose to share your space with. More importantly, cleaning, and interacting with your things in a deliberate manner, is a way of showing gratitude for the blessings you have received in your life and the things you have worked hard for.
When things get completely out of hand and sucky I like to remember all the things I have to be grateful for and interact with them in such a way as reflects that gratitude.
I have a place to sleep, food to eat, people who love me, I live in a wonderful city, I have tons of neon green surrounding me... I have many, many things to be grateful for.
There's also the time capsule element of cleaning that allows you to sort through and reflect on your life of late. I unpacked my pink backpack:
- PJ Pants
- Back-up time turner
- 2 Travel deodorants
- Neon Green Toothbrush that is identical to the one I have at home
- 2 mini-pages of reflections that it took all night talking and crying with Meara to write
- Pink shirt Noah always remarked upon
- Summer Flower Skirt
Each item held a memory of the last few days. The laptop reminded me of watching the election results on tv while checking 5 different news websites. This then led me to tacos and special brownies, and the whole thing I spent an entire day preparing for Meara and Noah. This then made me think about the last day I spent with Noah. First he surprised me with baking goods and some things on our list, then he left for class, I watched BB5 and took a nap and went shopping while he was gone, Noah came back while I was melting caramels and kept me company while I made brownies that I then overcooked while I was cleaning the kitchen, then we cuddled and watched BB5 together until he had to go to his meeting, then meara arrived and we made amazing tacos which we then ate with the brownies, then we watched the election results come in, noah came home 3 hours later round 10:30 when Obama had already been announced the next president, meara went home, noah sat me down and broke up with me, i put on a brave and compassionate face, i then gathered up my things and noah walked me over to meara's cuz the drunk van wasn't answering, I then stayed up the entire night talking and crying to Meara about life, made a few major revelations with the help of Aristotle, and then I went to sleep.
The PJ pants were my favorite pair, given to me by my mother, that I had kept at Noah's for weeks, packing them up really made it feel like I was disappearing. The back-up time turner was from the halloween party, the excessive deodorant is from me always keeping it around cuz i always forget to put it on in the morning, the toothbrush was identical cuz I wanted to have a bit of home with me wherever i was, and the pink shirt and skirt were what I put on that morning because I wanted to look nice for noah and I wanted to celebrate the last beautiful day before winter. The pink backpack was chosen because it perfectly matched my outfit and it was a gift from meara. Round and round.
Now it's all unpacked, everything in it's proper place, in my home.
"If I lay here, if I just lay here, would you lie with me and just forget the world?"