Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Cathedral Ceilings

A human being can develop a personality with numerous sub-basements. Unknown, locked, full of decay and pestilence, embedded in tissue one has long since accommodated so deeply one no longer knows it's there. What one calls "relaxed" or "happy" may be far far from what kind of happiness and relaxation and feelings of comfort are possible.

Does anyone want to explore those dark cavities? They speak for themselves in our dreams and sometimes an incident suddenly breaks one open like a sinkhole, a little like the methane plums in Siberia are blowing open hidden lakes. It's a network of caves and hidden lakes.

I am falling in love with cathedral ceilings, decades too late. My grandparents had one in their lake house in Maine and the sitting room of the house was something like a temple to the massive glacial lake that lay with endless, effortless elegance a few yards from their doorway. The coffee table was an old cobbler's bench and there was a roulette wheel under the chessboard.

In subsequent years drop ceiling blocked off the cathedral ceiling that must have inflamed their heating bill. I've seen this in many places in Brooklyn too, houses in which noble 13 foot ceilings dropped to 10 in order to increase energy efficiency.

Those high triangular spaces are turning up now in tiny houses, arching over sleeping lofts where one climbs towards the stars to sleep in a house that might just pick up and fly off into the galaxy, the wind on the roof, the branches brushing against tin in the night.

I'm trying to build a cathedral ceiling in my chest, it has been too tightly buttoned down for too long, pulled down by underground caverns of anxiety and kept tightly protected inside a psychic tin can. When I remember to I build this spaciousness with acceptance, creating an openness I can feel in my chest, my arms and throat and spreading warmth throughout. Every single fear drops the ceiling lower and makes the space tighter, hotter and stale. I'm raising the roof though, letting the light come in, letting the sunlight dance, teach and play more freely for another moment of rapture. It's no wonder this should occur it me in August, when the city fills with spaciousness, light and quiet that comes only once a year.

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