Sad thing is, you never know how much you need to do it, until you do it. Duh!
So, it’s my late winter get-in-touch-with-my-inner being time. I have a hot date with my psyche. I’m taking it away for the weekend up to the Berkshires of Massachusetts. We’ll sit, wrapped in a blanket, bemusedly gazing at small clots of ice fishermen, breathing in the 15˙ air through coffee breath and last night’s beer-furred tongues.
Of course, whom I’m actually getting in touch with is highly subjective. Aristotle would sit me down and point out that my quiet weekend was actually quite a crowded affair with all three of my souls or psyches present—my (party) animal, my morning-after vegetal, and my rational (oh my god, you mean I have to clean this shit up!). If you ask Jung, I could be communing with my psyche—the totality of all my psychic processes—and on a whole other level with my soul—or partial personality. Yeah, I was afraid of that! But Freud would argue that I’m partying with my Id and my Super Ego, and my Ego is sitting in a corner acting as chaperone.
But whatever. I’ll be there, enjoying the peace and quiet, and it’ll hit me that there’s nothing better than sitting and listening to good music and thinking about parallel universes and something and nothing. My brain’s been strapped to a conveyor belt for months and now, finally, I’m taking it for a walk in the woods. It’s like a puppy leaping down each leaf-strewn path, sniffing at tree stumps, eating deer poop, squatting to mark its territory.
And then something—or nothing—will strike me as being peculiarly funny and before I can edit myself, a laugh bubbles out of me. I feel the stress that has been building in the knots at the back of my neck making me look like a latter day Quasimodo, leaving my body.
Of course me and my psyche would be firmly and bitterly divorced by now if I hadn’t figured out that in my everyday world I have to snatch those moments of freewheeling introspection wherever I can: Sitting in an early-morning rumpled bed, sipping tea and doing the daily purge in my notebook, or after lunch, curled up on the doorstep like a cat, soaking up the faintest kiss of March sun, or later, in the evening, between the simmering rice and steaming vegetables, sitting in the iridescent green armchair in my study, watching the day’s light leech out of the sky and the first planet beginning to glow.
Those are my stolen moments of sanity, when my inner psyche and my outer goddess hang out with a glass of nectar of the vine and make daisy chains out of something—or nothing.