Monday, April 25, 2011

Contemplating my navel

Where do you escape to? Where do you escape from? I do so into my shower. Or cup of tea. Depending on the day and whether Sally is around, I can sometimes have a shower alone or a hot cup of tea.

Rarely both in one day though.

Oh - someone asked me what to do with a Sally-sized childerbeast when in the shower? If her being in the shower isn't an option, such as when shaving or if she has already bathed, I stick her in the bath with a LOT of toys. The shower abutts the bath so she can see me and I can see her and it's a deep bath so she can't get out.

For now, because she's worked out how to stand up and sit down. And with cruising that means that climbing is not far off.

Anyways, so the shower. I escape from the world into a warm, white-noise dominated, pleasant and reassuring. I think we all need a place to go, for silence and comfort, for consolation or a little private jig when something goes right. In the out-of-focus latte-coloured tiled and glass box, I can stand and be whatever I am that day. In my shower, I only have to deal with what's within arm's reach. Soap, shampoo, tiles, water - all have a place, and a purpose, and an honesty. Running water does not lie to me. My navel is open for gazing in.

In recent years, perhaps the last 5 (4 in particular) the shower has been my epiphany, my muse. In the bathroom my focus on life changes from a ways over there, to just a few feet, when I take off my glasses and my clothes and wait for the hot water to run through. In the daylight hours, or the bright lights of the ceiling extractor fan, I am forced to stand, literally and figuratively, naked, and contemplate myself. Truly see myself for that moment. To look myself in the eye and assess how I'm doing. In the shower, feeling spray on my shoulder and neck, I realise things that I otherwise would not or could not face. Often just a small thing, like why I have hoarding tendancies (That was this morning's epiphany. It's so that I have something to look forward to. I'll unpack that one in a later post too I think).

I have made some amazing realisations and decisions in the shower. Some not so exciting or profound, of course, but the daily ritual of revealing my 31 year old body and seeing how things change or how I'm feeling, is a distancing but at the same time connecting ritual. I see myself for who and what I am, in the warm light of the heat lamps or the cool sunlight on an Autumnal morning. In that moment, before I shower and dry and put on moisturiser and choose a face from the jar and gird my loins for the day, I look at myself - confident, genuine, concerned, upset, lost, found. I can lie to the world for the rest of the day but to myself, in the mirror, in the slightly-steamy moments I cannot lie to myself. I can dress up or down, choose funky shoes or sexy underwear, interesting socks or a different scarg but I can't hide, in my eyes and face, that which a careful observer might see. My skin my fluctuate, my hair misbehave, my physical form improve or decline, my bright points and dark nooks blend into the greynes of normality and reality, but in the end I cannot hide my soul nor my light under a bushel.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hmm and I thought that I was just washing myself when I have a shower!! No, really: I love to escape to a lovely warm shower - more so when there is someone else around to watch the little ones OR when there is no-one else around.

I think since birthing my two lovelies I actually appreciate a lovely shower more - I often remember back to my time spent labouring in said shower :)

I do love how you are even hoarding thoughts on your hoarding tendancies!! I don't know that I would have picked you as a hoarder.