Jan 16, 2011

The Vacuum Cleaner Chronicles

My vacuum cleaner died last night. And not a simple kind of death that it just stopped working, instead it came apart in fairly large pieces in my hands as I worked to replace the broken belt. I kept thinking as another piece dropped limply in my hand that I would be able to figure out how to put it back together but as the motor dropped with a deadly thud to the floor in a puff of dust that proved to be it's last breath, I realized I had to let it go.

It wasn't a new vacuum, an older model Hoover that required you to plug in the hose to use any of the 4 standard attachments. And it was a barter, I received it in exchange for helping a client move a couple years ago. It didn't look like much but worked great and was the perfect gift at a time when money was especially tight. And I knew it was dying for almost a year. I've been looking at vacuums for a while but either can't find one with all the features I want or find one that looks good and just don't want to spend over $100 for a new vacuum, especially when it lives in the trunk of my car.

But the process of watching this one come completely apart in my hands reflected back to me what I tend to do internally and clarified what was happening in my life at that moment. I continue patch myself together so I can keep going, keep what is known in place, maintain the status quo. And even though I have developed a deep appreciation for the process of change, that things must die to make room for the new, I still resist the letting go. And now, with a dismantled vacuum in pieces at my feet I see it, to get what I want I have to let go of what I know, that what I know is coming apart and it's ok to let it die.

I bagged up all the vacuum pieces today and took the bag out to the trash can. I'll set it all down by the street and magically, by the time I leave for work Thursday morning, it will all be gone. So I'm taking this moment to acknowledge the work going on there; the transformation, the death, the rebirth the clarity. I'll get a new vacuum sooner rather than later and start letting go in all the tiny hidden places in myself where I'm holding on to how it's been, how it's supposed to be. And I'll move on.