Forced to Dry

Yesterday morning, after alighting from my bed I looked out of the window and noticed a soggy glove on the road at the side of my wife’s car.

The previous evening she had given me a lift to a local beer festival and as we arrived I decided to relieve myself of the burden of carrying my coat, scarf and gloves for the duration of the long evening ahead of me, so I quickly took them off and placed them on the front passenger seat of her car.

My wife, had picked these items up as she arrived home after dropping me off, but she had not noticed that my gloves were loosely placed on top of the coat and so one of them had dropped into the foot-well of her car, and the other onto the roadside exposed all night to the inclement rain.

I retrieved the glove and rung it through in the sink and then placed it onto the radiator where it was forced to dry over the next few hours.

This morning, on taking it from its very warm and cosy spot, I placed the fluffy, supple warm glove onto my hand and all its dampness and sogginess and smelliness had been dissipated from its apparel.

If only our lives could be thus cured of the sogginess, longings and confusion which are thrown up by our hearts and minds.

It made me think of the people who turn to rehabilitation centres to dry-out a drug or alcohol problem – or to a christian or other religious retreat centres where matters of the soul are explored under spiritual guidance in periods of reflection, silence, solitude and prayer – or to specialist centres for restoration from severe mental or physical trauma when strenuous efforts are made to bring us back to health and happiness.

My life is punctuated with periods of intense mental pain caused by the isolation and frustration of choosing to be faithful to my marriage whilst often feeling conflicted over my gay sexuality which is hidden and isolated from those whom I love.

There are small oases in my life where I can go and dry out my suffering and soothe my anxieties  – for example when I speak to my coach or visit her – or speak with my brother who is supportive and sympathetic to my ongoing struggle.

These interventions give me a respite from the damp and soggy harshness of my own mental anguish, and the practices and the intellectual guidance I derive from books and blogs on living in the present and living a holistic life of many parts are accessible to me more fully when I am calm thanks to them.

William Defoe 

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