I wake from unease every morning. The accumulation of dust and dander, acid reflux, post-nasal drip, and troubled bowels overwhelm my senses when I come to them. My body pulls and pierces, tightens and churns – I’m subdued by the pangs of a disgruntled digestive system.
It’s a forced awakening. That does something to a person, not having the freedom to will oneself from slumber – ever. Like being roused every day before dawn with a bucket of ice, or commanded out of comfort by a spit-firing drill sergeant who seems to derive pleasure from defeating you.
So, yes, the toilet, the sink, the shower – these are my Bodhi Tree. The first hour of my day is not dedicated to hygiene, but a deep cleanse. A cleansing that requires silence, solitude, and ritual.
But the ritual does not end in the en suite. My ante meridiem thoughts are a maelstrom of unresolved emotions – self-hate and insecurity, obsession and compulsion – that can only be grappled into submission. I suspect that those who rise with self-restraint and a positive morale are somehow healthier in mind. Honestly, I’m happy for them…well, maybe after coffee.
It must be the case for you as well. That you are in need of time each day to work and shape yourself into some preferred form? We fall on a continuum of ready-made composure and grace, but surely none are fully baked. It’s the unfinished business of self that animates our humanity, the wabi-sabi aesthetic of our existence that makes us real.
Sometimes, I just need you to know that I’m not ready yet. Just five more minutes. Might be more, or less, but I’ll let you know when I’ve got my shit together. When I’m ready to be almost perfect for you.
If you encounter me when I’m still raw, still doughy, then I ask that you don’t take it personally. It’s nobody’s fault that you bit into something unprepared.