Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Monkeys Do That

"We have no power,"Claire said.

It was six am. Dark, rainy. A new day of middle school, after the restful Labor Day weekend. We lit candles. Michael made hot water on the camp stove for tea and coffee. Last week, we never lost power during the worst of Hurricane Irene. Miracles.

Then quietly, this morning, no power.

Well, no electricity. 

In twelve-step programs the very first step is admitting you are powerless over whatever monkey happens to be sitting on your back, maybe playing with your hair, searching for termites or other tasty bugs. Or maybe, it's shitting on your back.

Monkeys do that.

Most of us, whether we cop to having a particular addiction, have some kind of monkey we're carrying around. Maybe it's so small it can sleep in your purse. Or maybe it's more like a silverback; mitt-like gorilla hands wrapped around your neck, leathery gorilla feet dragging behind you as you try to move forward.

Saying, I'm powerless or we have no power, is a very brave thing to do. Even if, in the end, it's just a tree that took a wire down and Met-Ed fixes it, voila, the fridge kicks on and the toilets flush, 

~ remembering that space when you were sitting at the kitchen table with the candles burning and the thought landed, 

fingertip tap tap tapping on your heart,

I'm okay. 
We're okay. 
My my, puddin' pie

is a good thing...

Admitting, whenever you can muster the nerve, that you are out of power, that a whole lot of stuff is out of your hands is actually powerful...

It cracks you open. 

And...it frees Curious George to stop messing with your hair and go back to the jungle where he was doing just fine before the Man with the Yellow Hat came along.

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