Sunday, May 3, 2015

Sense of Direction

You can be the perpetrator of your own emptiness, 
it can be the very thing you need, and it can still undo you.

Alexandra Fuller, After the Rains Came

I have a card on my desk with a picture of a fifties-era woman looking at a map in a car. The caption is I'm not lost...I'm exploring! I have a terrible sense of direction, get lost literally once or twice a week, make wrong turns daily, forget where I've parked my car, miss landmarks and can't read maps. I'm also pretty good-natured about it, except maybe the time I lost my car on a large college campus after midnight or walked up and down and around a parking garage for hours, crying like a baby. After taking a good long walk with a friend early this morning, I lay on my bed for much of the day, only getting up to tend to Sophie, do the boys' laundry and dust the living room. I am doing one of those cleanse things where you don't eat sugar or gluten or dairy or caffeine, and it's not going so well. I'm keeping to the requirements, but I feel like shit. I have a headache, my body aches and I'm irritable and weepyish. Apparently, I've been eating a whole lot of crap, and while I'm aware of that I haven't really faced up to it. It seems impossible that something so cliche could really be working to clean my body of toxins. I'm going to try to hang in there, though, because enough is enough. I've lost my body, my sense of self beyond what goes on in my tiny little mother mind.  I,I, I. What goes on in that mind is ridiculous much of the time, particularly as the world spins on its axis without my input, and Baltimore and Nepal happened in the same week. It feels lame, but the one body we're given is a sort of temple, isn't it? It's prone to degradation, so why hurry it along?  I doubt that I'll ever gain a real sense of direction as far as my body goes, but I'm going to explore it anyway.

Reader, are you lost or exploring?


  1. I can relate to so much of what you've written here it's scary. You are brave to try to clear the toxins from your body. After feeling like shit, you will likely feel much better. I haven't gotten there yet. It's not fair that we can't eat all the shit we want and feel great and not gain an ounce. Life is hard enough as it is. And I suck at directions and get lost all the time too. My GPS saves me.

  2. Vision quest.
    Try it.
    Meanwhile my husband has just driven off to the truck stop to buy chocolate ice cream.
    I will never rid my body of toxins.
    I love you.

  3. Oh my gosh always exploring as are you . I Am not in your shoes..., but know I am with you 😍

  4. I found myself very weepy last week as well. Nepal kicked me in the gut. I feel helpless and privileged and guilty. I made a donation to the Red Cross from the comfort of my home and tried not to think about babies trapped in rubble but I was not successful. I have a very good imagination which I appreciate but which also makes life very difficult at times.

    As for cutting out diary, gluten and sugar, my god woman! What's left:) I've gained thirty pounds in the past few years and it's difficult to adapt to my new body, although on the upside, I have breasts now. Take care of yourself woman.

  5. I am right there with you. Except I will eat dairy, as in 1 egg a day and a small amount of cheese but no sugar, gluten or caffeine (is caffeine really bad tho? I ask sincerely). I started this morning and I'm so there with you on all fronts. I do have a good sense of direction and used to work as a map maker but when it comes to my body I too am lost. I really like your explorer analogy. Thank you for that. It beats berating, which never helped anyway. Onward!

  6. I share your lousy sense of direction. My GPS has saved me countless times. I even have dreams about traveling and getting hopelessly lost. I gave to UNICEF and Red Cross to help address my sense of helplessness (yes, Virginia, it IS all about me) and I cringe at the police crimes in Baltimore but then remember all the good people I know who are police officers. The good ones. I lost or exploring? Both, always recognizing and transforming the confusion of being lost into the adventure of exploring. How else can I cope?

  7. I think our bodies know exactly what we need, if we would only pay attention. Good for you, Elizabeth. Ride out the weepiness and irritation. It won't last. I'm off of sugar--again--and that also means no processed flour. I go around being a sulky 16-year-old for a day or two and then I feel better, my arthritis doesn't bother me as much, and I sleep better. It's the simple things. Love you!

  8. Lost. But every now and then I find myself. Not that it matters to Nepal or Baltimore. But I'm pretty sure it matters to the people who love me. That's something.
    Hang in. I hope you can nap while on this regime. It helps, I think.
    Sending love.

  9. I am exploring, not lost. At least that's the story I tell myself. I have a bachelor's degree in geography and it's my husband's favorite thing to tease me about when I get us lost, sometimes even with a map in my hand. I lose my car in parking lots all the time though. It's little and hides behind all the giant cars. I imagine this will only get worse.

    Half my friends are on the Clean 30 cleanse diet, and I looked at it and just can't get past the no coffee or wine. Plus I love bread and dairy.... Excuses, I know. I need to try something though, just so I can say I tried... I'm seeing old relatives in the mirror, and I'm not ready to be them yet.

    Good luck with the diet and with not getting lost :)

  10. You live in L.A. Not getting lost would be almost impossible. I now have a GPS that I use almost daily. I would not work in home support if not for my trustworthy TomTom.

  11. I'm concerned about the safety of those cleanse regimens. If I may make an entirely unsolicited recommendation, I think you'd be better off just cutting back on sugar and whatever else you may feel you eat to excess, and upping the vegetables and other produce. You ought to be able to eat fairly normally and hopefully it won't affect your energy levels so drastically. I am a firm believe in eating a wide variety of good foods, and not too much of any one thing.

  12. Got no idea if this is a good idea, but I'll tell you that my best friend did it and found it useful although hard as hell. Let me know if you'd like to talk with her.



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