Sunday, September 6, 2009

Cleaning Day

It is an inside-out sort of day. My outer skin of feelers and stimuli has been working overtime to take in and process these first two weeks, and has now gone inside for a rest. It has gone inside of my body, as a car goes to the shop or as a boat goes to the yard. My outer skin needs some touching-up. I need to scrape the impressions off like the barnacles on the bottom of a boat. I need to scrape, scrape, scrape until I can see the peachy, soft skin. Too much of this skin is hard and calloused now. Too much of it is worn and incapable of receiving and absorbing. I need to run water through the mesh and put things back in working condition. When the skin is inside, the body is inverted. Muscle meat and organs are exposed and they flinch at external interruptions. Time to go into the cave. Time to go into the cave which can serve as my skin for awhile. It’s cleaning day.


  1. I like when I have calluses, to me it means I've done some kind of work and have a physical improvement allowing me to do it better next time.

  2. That's a really good point... and my imagery here definitely contrasts with things I said in "Beautiful Feet." Nevertheless, consider the passage we just read in "Walden:" "How can he remember well his ignorance--which his growth requires-- who has so often to use his knowledge?"

    Maybe this is a stretch, but we form calluses when we do physical work, in which we are often acting on habitual knowledge. What I'm getting at here is that it's important to strip away the things we know and the metaphoric manifestations of these things-- to achieve a broader and more enlightened perspective.

    Then, after we have stepped away and judged the picture objectively, we can return to our task and know that the calluses are constructive and there's not a better way to do the job.

    In this piece, however, I had not even considered the upside of calluses. I was using them as a metaphor for the muck that fills our mind and senses when we're overstimulated.

    What do you think?