Soul Places

Befriending the Soul through Inquiry and Creativity

Tag: attachment

A Tantrum Over Attachment

You can barely see it, right?

A beautiful new book purchased as research for writing my fiction sits innocently on the café table.  When I fan the pages to indulge in the fresh press smell, it mocks me.  But I don’t recognize its unfamiliar, bogus tone as I replace it on the table close to me, in order to appreciate it with frequent lover’s glances.  I turn to a gifted, used, older book with great wisdom on how to write dialogue and forget about my infatuation with the new book.  Journaling ferociously about soliloquies and foils, I have gracefully begun courting the Muse.

In my altered state, my fleece entrenched arms reach around my full, carnation-white mug to consult my laptop for definitions and synonyms.  Jersey-cow colored coffee spills all over my new, slighted book with unrequited love, my spill-proof mug sitting nearby, unused.  A puddle rests on my laptop, but I am more concerned about my new book.  My most prized possessions are my books, especially the brand new ones, impregnated with unique word sequences and immaculate odors.

My face falls like the girl who got the wrong Barbie for Christmas.  It’s all wrong.  Ruined.  I throw an internal tantrum at my stupidity.  Having told myself several times to move the mug, I now torment myself with reminders of my responses:  I’ll be careful.  I know it’s there.  Holding my once perfect lover now mysteriously disfigured, I get up to retrieve a towel to begin sopping up the mess.  My writing friends exclaim, “It has character now.”  “It’s not so bad – just a few pages got it.”

And they are right.

Attachment to my books has lessened over the years, but today I realize it still needs work.  They are not my lover, slighted or otherwise.  They take turns sitting on the shelf, sometimes neglected for years.  They are pages that desire a life well lived, not unlike myself.  But instead of being thankful for the coffee stains and dog-ears on my pages, the deeply creased spine and curling leafs, I have been careful with my life, fearful of survival, pleasure and everything in between.

I will forever look at this book and be reminded of that morning in the café with my friends.  I am glad for the stains and reminded to pursue the more adventurous life that I dream of.  And that adventurous life has begun with the shifting of attachment and fear to the willingness and cultivation of the marred, perfectly imperfect page of my life.

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Attachment Cured by Rodentia, Tempus and Carnivora

My husband and I finally rented a place together again after jobs kept us in separate states for most of this year.  We excitedly returned to our storage unit on Thursday to begin the moving process only to discover that mice had moved in.  Since February, we had unwittingly loaned all our belongings to an unknown number of rodents. We hadn’t intended on our stuff being in storage so long so we haphazardly packed and threw everything in there.  Every box was fair game as none of them were properly taped shut – only folded.  We proceeded with apprehension as to what we might find.

Our hide-a-bed couch was stored on end so we could see as soon as we uncovered it that the mice had made a nest in it.  A large plastic bin, overflowing with stuff and lidless, was littered with vermin excrement.  A big box, also carelessly over-packed and wide open housed a precious pair of jeans that I have almost fit into since college.  A rodent bathroom – that’s what they were now.  Another pair of jeans I’ve almost fit into for a number of years had become a mouse chew toy.  It suddenly became very easy to let go of my attachment to these belongings.

On to my most prized possessions – my books.  These boxes have the unique experience of never being unpacked in my last dwelling.  After a year and eight months of being locked away from my inquisitive eyes and fondling fingers, I was surprised to find that I could part with a significant number of them.  “I’m not interested in that anymore” – “I don’t really need to keep every book I’ve ever read,” were some of the thoughts going through my head.  Somehow they avoided being tread upon by the twenty-ounce rodent renters so there was no damage done and they brought a fine price at the used bookstore.  It seems as though time had allowed a natural separation from those books.

Having lived for the last ten months without any of these things made it quite easy to slight them.  I have made several trips to the local donation center and the only things I felt a little separation anxiety over were the re-homing of my childhood stuffed animals.  My dog, Dallas, thought this would be an opportune time to acquire himself a new “baby.”  He sensed my angst over these items and took advantage of a small window of opportunity.  He very cutely marched over to my pile of toys, wagged his tail and batted his eyes at me.  With his entire body engaged, muzzle reaching for the stuffed puppy, he asked me, “May I?”

I acquiesced and gave him the first two.  Then he quite confidently took the other three – although he may have to fight my husband for the little Pooh Bear.  Five of the ten stuffed animals I’d been hanging on to for fifteen years were re-homed right under my own roof.  Of course they are now fodder for Dallas’ entertainment.  Their guts will be scattered throughout the living space before too long, but I have let go of my attachment to them as well and will gladly throw them in the garbage when Dallas has completely disemboweled them.  In the meantime, they will bring me much joy as I watch my smiling dog prance around the house with them.