Unpacking the crab

chesapeake-bay-blue-crabIt’s only 11 am and I have lost track of the number of things that have made me mad. While trying to do my environmental duty and not just wash (with as little water as possible) the pickle jar but peel off the label I became instantly furious- small ‘f’ mind you, but angry nonetheless. If the labels are paper, I just put a small bit of water in the sink, plug the sink, and wait for the label to become loose enough to scratch off. This one was sneaky because after its little bath, the label refused my efforts. OH, it’s one of those plastic ones that need to be pulled with more force and slowly, away from the glass body. But my fingers were wet, and I couldn’t get a grip on the tip of the label to begin pulling properly. I got so mad—for real. I knew it was ridiculous, but I let myself get sucked into the shenanigans of irritation-land, where many of us visit from time to time. After many growls and futile pulls, I dried my hands off thoroughly and went at it again with less aggravation. Low and behold, off it came, slowly and with much satisfaction.

That herculean feat down, I was on to the next life event that I wanted to accomplish on this Saturday, which is often a day we do things around the house that have gone undone in the wake of a busy week. I usually want to wipe these things off the list quickly and at once. Get the shit out of the way so I can have more ‘Saturday time’ to do whatever I might want to do instead of chores. Depending on the kind of week I’ve had and where I’m at emotionally, however, this can also feel like a big fat drag and make me mad. So, I get mad about doing small things I want to get out of the way to ‘enjoy’ myself: sweet.

Have a shower, it’s long overdue. I often resist the bodily labour that a shower involves. Nuts, I know. Hygiene is a must- true- and I always feel better after- true- and yet I rail against it. I’m not a slob, I just sometimes make do with other quick fixes and would rather spend my time doing other things, like peeling off pickle jar labels. As I lather my hair I talk to myself, which I do throughout the day, usually quietly inside my head. I notice that my scalp hurts and wonder why. Some people call this a ‘tension headache’ but it doesn’t feel like a headache which, thankfully I rarely get. Apparently, what’s happening is inflammation coming from blood vessels in the scalp is flooding the nerves in the hair follicles and causing them to ache. That’s what Allure Magazine told me, so it must be true. I believe them.

I continue to review my angry day and am now laughing at myself, how ridiculous to get so easily pissed off. And, duh, I just went to yoga, aren’t I supposed to be more ‘here…’? It was hard to be ‘present’ this morning, no wonder given the rather tumultuous week I’ve had. I know I’m supposed to be kind(er) to myself and am always amazed at the gap between lip service and reality on this front. Saying something doesn’t bring it into being. You have to embody it, BE IT, for it to really appear and join the words that we speak about it as truth. Be it to believe it, I guess.  As I’m thinking this I suddenly fold my body in half in the shower and watch the water as it runs off my body, ensuring the errant hair or two I see continues its journey towards the drain. It feels nice. I notice that when I’m back at my hair my scalp doesn’t hurt. MAGIC. But then as I rinse out the conditioner and get hair caught in my fingers, I get irritated again. Ha ha, I can’t win!

I apply my awesome Radiant Body Oil (Province Apothecary) and feel like just being radiant with Shiva (my divine 17.5-year-old tabby) and staying in my house clothes that wait for me atop the toilet seat: the flannel star-patterned pajama bottoms given to me by my last boyfriend that always fall down and a cotton t-shirt with something on it. I’ve made my way through my wet tangled hair using a comb I bought in 1990 that says “unbreakable” on it. This is a patent lie considering that one tooth (why do combs have teeth anyways?—for biting hair, I suppose) has been broken at the half-way point for a good decade. Minor details. The end is near. The hair that’s fallen out after the application of my vegan mouse (don’t ask, it works nicely) is making its way down, down the sink to lord knows where. A small clip that once lived in a pack of twelve clips now sits on the right side of my head, holding a small bundle of my semi-bangs in place. Why? For volume, of course.

Out of the warm unlit bathroom I stride, to the computer that sits on my dining room table. But first I turn off the radio, confirm that Shiva is fine (which he is), and then pull on my tattered zip-up hoodie. I open the familiar blue book icon that is Word and begin. Unpacking the crab is good medicine. We’re not supposed to let the crab over-run us, but we cannot be devoid of it either. It scuttles here and there, growing, receding, poking, disappearing, moving with us in the flow of life along all our ocean floors.



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