Lovely rains are falling today and more are promised this week. The dogs and I have been sitting peacefully for a time, just watching the rain wash the world green. The music and rhythms have lulled us all into a sleepy peacefulness, but I know it’s time to set down the book I’ve been reading and pick up my paint brush. Again.
I had the bright idea that freshening up the painted cabinets in the dining room and kitchen would be a wonderful project to replace the gardening I couldn’t yet begin because of snow cover and cold.
Of course, painting cabinets requires taking everything out of them, and—in my case—facing the haphazard organization resulting from the accrued 17 years of living and working in this kitchen. Bakeware, appliances, tools, pots and pans…all of these things just kind of “settled,” like homesteaders who staked a claim, plopped down to clear land, and built a life, regardless of how logically situated they were towards light, water, necessities, and the rest of civilization.
Shouldn’t the bakeware and pots, etc., be closer to the oven, and shouldn’t the less-used cookie tins be on the pantry’s highest shelf, allowing the grains to be placed more accessibly? Amazing what we can discover about ourselves and our world when we pull everything out and look anew at how we’ve arranged and accepted it “must” be.
So, the kitchen and dining room are now beautifully and logically reorganized…and I can’t find a damn thing. My mind has not yet adjusted to this new, improved way of functioning, but it will, as I reorient.
It reminds me of the interview I read in The Sun last week (http://thesunmagazine.org/issues/448/out_of_our_heads). Philip Shepherd discusses his perceptions about the ways we accept culturally-designated realities and then all the institutions and behaviors that ensure these, without questioning whether these are the best we can do regarding the health of the earth, humanity, and the interconnections between our own and all other species.
In his book, New Self, New World: Recovering Our Senses in the Twenty-First Century, he speaks of the brain in our heads as more aligned with masculine energy, and the brain in our “gut” as having greater alignment with feminine energy. These are not men vs. women designations, but rather ways of describing every human’s potential for wholeness and balance, and it’s no surprise, I suppose, that Shepherd believes that, as a species, we’re dangerously imbalanced in our dependency upon the “head brain” to the exclusion of incorporating the wisdom of our heart, or gut brain. And therefore, the imbalance is reflected in the realities we create and maintain, which Shepherd feels have set our world on a clear path of unnecessary destruction.
Too much reliance on our masculine energy creates the illusion we’re separate, independent, and entirely self-reliant. Shepherd thinks a greater integration of our feminine energy and wisdom would help us see, value, and tend the interconnections that exist “outside of” the reality we accept.
I’m simplifying, of course, but if we can get beyond the “way it’s always been,” perhaps we’ll be open to discovering a better way it can be…
So, I’ll deal with the inconvenience I experience when my old patterns of habitual steps around the kitchen frustrate my ingrained expectations. In time, I hope I’ll enjoy the reorganization and the “flow” the new plan offers my cooking and baking.
A change in the weather is a gift, allowing us to view our “old” landscapes from new perspectives. Perhaps I can set down some of my deep-rooted expectations and behaviors regarding what I accept as “reality” as well, nurturing my own and others’ balance by widening the possibilities I consider, and choosing new responses and ways of engaging.
Maybe just one more mug of tea before I pick up the paintbrush…time to sit and breathe into greater balance before starting my work.
Now, where’s the tea strainer?