Washing the Dishes

When I finally insist that the vacuuming of the room needs to happen, the breaker clicks off. The roar of the machine overloaded the circuit. The room is black, only the light of the screen still lit. I push every breaker except for the right one, my rain boots on my feet grounding me to the now.

How I need my husband to show me the map next to the breaker box.

How I break down as the year recedes.

How I build myself up, task by task.

How to make a strong center: hint: it’s work.

It’s work to meditate and spin the bike wheels with my strong legs. To set intentions that lead me to action. The chores help. The task of the living is to see the dirty dishes and move them to the sink. The warm water brings sweet texture and heat to my hands and suddenly everything seems possible again.

We wake to the dark. We fall asleep in the dark. We remember sweet summer’s light and we make lists to get ourselves there. Laundry, grocery store, friends for dinner, work, helping to write the science paper.

Mostly I listen to the bubbles in my seltzer water and try to slow down my brain enough to actually hear the popping sound more clearly. If I can just listen, I know the world will keep cycling and I can just follow along. Despite waking to the dark and going to sleep within the dark. If I just keep moving, the light will eventually return. Joy will find me. Just like the water from the tap heats up and warms my fingers, sending a pulse of pleasure throughout my body until it hits my thinking brain. Yes: yes to doing the dishes. That’s where I’m at right now.

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