Muscle Memory

Emptying the dishwasher this morning, I was lost in thought about yesterday’s post. I was thinking of yesterday’s events which had spurred the memories which had put me in a writing mood. Dishwasher nearly empty, I glanced at my cabinet and was startled to find I had been placing all my glasses upside down. I chuckled then sighed, shook my head and reached up to change their orientation. 

Growing up in the country there were spiders. Spiders like to crawl into things. One way not to inadvertently drink a spider is to turn your cups upside down. One way to not get screamed at is to put the cups away right the first time. There was a logical reason for his way. There usually was, at least at first. I can justify and explain most household rules in ways that would spur one on to continue them for generations to come. I can not justify the intensity of moral rightness associated with following such household rules. Some day I’ll make a list of random things to which moral obligation was associated in my house, such things as to cut or smash fried eggs, and morning vs evening showers. It’s hilarious some days, horrifying others. Always and forever absurd. 

I buy my cups by design. They draw me to them, I buy them $0.69 at a time at Goodwill, and I display them– upright– in all their cuteness. I’ve done this for years. I love it. I smile when I open my cabinets and see them smiling back. But today, lost in thought about the “Good old days” my body behaved the safest way it knew, and obediently placed the cups in spider-proof position. Muscle effin’ memory, man. 

I love knowing where I come from. I love understanding how I tick. Or why I twitch. I love having examined and reexamined, traced origins and understood changes. I love the empowerment that comes with being able to say “because this.” Since it can never have not happened, I embrace that I am who I am because of it all. But the flip side is tracing every muscle twitch and knowing this is another of those moments where the past swallows the present and the trained overtakes the intentional. I am fascinated sometimes, like today, when I am well and happy and yet even the mental image of days gone by puts me in obedience mode. Other days I am angry I’ve discovered another landmine.  

I’m going to go fold towels now. And you know what? I roll my towels. They fit better in my space that way. That special 1/4 then 1/3 fold that had to be just so for perfect stacking, with all the smooth edges facing out and the raw edges hidden? It doesn’t work for me any more. 


3 thoughts on “Muscle Memory

  1. I’m GLAD you are creating a “You’ space – you get to define the boundaries, you get to build a comfortable, workable, stress-free haven. Good on you.

  2. Mmmm. Yes. Movie you may be interested in seeing, sometime when you are with someone you need to feel understood by/when you’re in a stable place: “Higher Ground”.

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