Cleaning the Storm Windows

That’s not a metaphor, strictly speaking.

I did actually spend the greater part of yesterday and some of Saturday cleaning storm windows in my mother’s house.

But I think it could be a great metaphor.

The house is old, and creaky, and the porch wood has warped with the constant leaks and floods. We wrestled each window down, and rubbed the wood down with oil soap. I then cleaned each pane of glass three times — three panes per window; six windows. It’s possible they hadn’t been cleaned since the 1930s.

They’re not spotless, but they are now free of decades-old cobwebs and spider corpses; we can see through them well enough. The house looks as if better care has been taken.

And they will protect us from storms.

Isn’t that what’s important? Taking care of your house, cleaning the storm windows, insulating yourself from disaster? Being better able to see what’s coming?

I don’t mean physically, now, of course; this is where the metaphor comes in. I mean spiritually.

I’ve been working hard on just getting back onto my feet recently, after the huge storms of emotional cluster fucks that nearly sent me over the edge. I was almost there; I thought if I could have just a little more time I could really reconnect with the earth and the gods, and then everything would be fine.

Life doesn’t work like that. It just throws shit at you when you’re not ready, and it doesn’t stop for anything.

So I have to find the calm between storms. And in that time, I will fortify myself against the next one.

Cleaning the storm windows. Taking care of the house.

It’s all really basic, mundane stuff in the end. You think there’s glamour, but there’s just more dirt beneath your fingernails; aches in your muscles.

That’s how it’s supposed to be, really. Chop wood, carry water.

 

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