Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Putting My House in Order

This past week, Fr. John came over for my annual house blessing. The act of sanctifying the space in which I live nearly all of my life and dedicating it for God's work is a profound and wonderful act, and yet I dread it every year because it means that I feel like I have to clean my house.

I have not posted a blog entry in just over a month now. This blog was intended as a way for me to take some of what is in my head and expose it to the light of day, to share with others my struggles, my triumphs, my joys and my sorrows. I wanted it to be a means for me to spend more time outside my thoughts and to let others in. But in order to do so, I feel like I have some cleaning and rearranging to do. It turns out that this is harder for me to do than I had expected.

For the better part of my 32 years on this earth, the part that I can remember at least, My life has been lived inside my head. I let very few people in to look around, and I spend very little time outside of it. I keep people at arms length because it is easier than trying to fix what I don't like about myself, and easier than taking the time to clean up and set my life in order. The one thing that never occurred to me in all this time is that there are actually people that might want into my head even though the place is a mess.

The real reason I have not posted anything in a month is that I have been busy doing a little cleaning in my head and in my heart to welcome an amazing new friend in. And like any good cleaning, it kicks up a lot of dust, displaces a lot of things temporarily, and occasionally looks like more of a mess than before I started cleaning. My head has been more of a mess than usual, making it hard to write about my thoughts in a public forum, but it has been a mess in a way that hopefully will make it a more inviting place to be on a regular basis.

Just like my priest doesn't ask if my house will be clean before he schedules a house blessing, this person didn't ask me to clean house, but I feel compelled to put my house in order before I invite someone else in. I find my head a more peaceful place to be now that I have done some cleaning. I like opening the doors and letting the sunshine in. I like bringing this visitor in to have a look around. I like being able to share my life with another person who for some reason doesn't seem to mind that I haven't finished cleaning yet and probably never will. And when the dust settles, I am hopeful that I will start spending more time outside my mind, and be more willing to let others inside.


Emily H. said...

"The one thing that never occurred to me in all this time is that there are actually people that might want into my head even though the place is a mess." - Well, of course! You're an interesting person, from the little I've seen online.

I'm glad you have a friend, a visitor. After having lived in what can only be called isolation, I certainly sympathize with the importance of having someone face to face, a friend to relate to and share things in your life with. We're trying to find that in our lives again also - rearranging the house and putting things in their proper order. What a mess!

God bless your cleaning efforts! ;)

Anonymous said...

Dearest friend matthew,

I can relate to this so well, and I just wanted to say that. I have lived most of my life in my head and have spent most of that same life trying to escape it.

It surprises some people to find out that I never forget anything I ever read ---word for word. This is why I am so careful about what I read. Putting it in is the same as never being able to take it out. Cleaning house, like you say, is a process...but I hope you will be more successful at it than I have ever been. God bless your new friendship....may it cover a lifetime.

More art, less thinking. ;)
Love to you,