Late yesterday evening, I took my grumpy self out to the house with the goal of getting my last flower bed landscaped and planted. It rained most of the day, but while the skies remained cloudy and threatened more rain, the weather stayed dry. I improvised with a standard shovel and non-preferred hand trowel because my preferred tools were locked in the garage. After everything was planted and I spread the remainder of the Black Kow over the top of the bed, I was slammed with the realization that the whole house project was just plain sexy. Sensual. Organic. The entire experience has been about converting what I envisioned into a tangible space and the conversion process depended upon how I wanted the space to FEEL and how I intended it to function. As an osteopathic physician, it is this intimate interconnection between the structure of something and how it functions. Structure determines function. Anatomy mandates physiology. Lance Armstrong is built for the Tour de France. A Maserati is designed for racing and speed. The Jeep is intended for off road courses. The whole purpose, the ultimate intention of my house project was to create a space that FELT good, felt like home, welcomed ME as well as my guests, served as a platform for the things I love to do: sleep, cook, linger, read, write, entertain, garden, breath, laugh, make love, create. It was meant to feel GOOD.
And it does.
It feels amazing and I am not yet living there. I want to lie down in the muddy backyard and watch the heavy gray clouds roll overhead. I close my eyes and the pines are whispering loudly, gossiping about the tropical storm off in the Gulf. The bob white quails call out all around me. The remnants of the earlier rain drips off the edge of the eave. I smell dirt and manure and sweat. The butterflies have found all my plantings and flit from plant to plant like hyperactive children off their Ritalin that have discovered a smorgasbord of Skittles and M&Ms. It is all pleasing and pleasurable. And despite a fifth day of digging and kneeling and troweling, my body feels content. My hands are swollen, my fingers stiff, my knees are puffy like a downstairs handmaid’s after scrubbing the floors. I could care less. The pain and aches are anesthetized by the bliss of doing something I love and enjoy.
It makes me wonder about how misguided the path of modern medicine has been. I can’t write a prescription for contentment. Everyone’s bliss is different. And when the “remission” rate of so many chronic conditions is at best 65% despite clinically tested and FDA approved drug therapy, the generic chemical manipulation of a brain or body can NEVER supplant the absolute organic and internal design of the human condition to convert contentment into better physiology.
I have found myself emotionally overwhelmed in the last two weeks. Usually, this kind of emotional storm is negative: bereavement, horror, terror. As I watched a friend bury her oldest son just three months ago, I was racked with gut wrenching, doubled over grief that stopped me in my tracks and broke me into tears. If I think about her too long (or her heartbroken husband), I still cry. So, when I started having similar emotional outbursts about two weeks ago, I couldn’t pin point the origin. I was losing my mind. Was I losing my mind? I realized the emotional upheaval wasn’t negative. It was positive, extremely positive. The surge, nay the avalanche of emotions was spontaneous and would erupt into tears….and then giggling. It was uncontrollable. This is my brain….my mind….overflowing with emotion, the chemicals cause the same physiological responses. What a tremendous blessing to know that I have such a spectacular, breathtaking, full-spectrum of emotions that are so intense and so all-encompassing as to drop me to my knees in supplication, in gratitude, in thanksgiving. I have been bent low and pressed to my knees in petition, in anxiety, from adversity. I love love love that my natural and innate response when I am overwhelmed with joy is to have the same humble response. I am so thankful, grateful, amazed and blessed.