The Power of Plaque (23)

I sweep under the kitchen table and wonder about the power of our beliefs. I remember my dental hygienist in Sebastopol telling me she had client who didn’t believe in plaque. (He didn’t have any.) Meri told me the other day on the phone that someone (was it Deepak Chopra?) claims there is no physiological reason why we need to age. I believe it may be true. But could I stretch my brain enough to let it be true? I can’t even get myself to not believe in plaque. I maneuver the broom between the legs of the kitchen chair. It’s weighted down with books rescued from the swamp cooler in August, so I don’t move it, but I sweep with care beneath it. I think about all the efforts I am making to heal. Most people don’t believe in them–I know. I hear it in the things they do not say. Something tries to stir in me, some habit of futility, and I shake my head as I swipe the broom across the floor. I believe in my choices. I believe I can heal, that my efforts already bear fruit. I remind myself I have shed that old, heavy cloak, dissolved that terrible message that said no matter what I do it will never be enough. I have gathered all the endless desert dirt and the feathers from the leaking down comforter and the teeny Palo Verde leaves we all bring inside with us into a neat pile near the kitchen sink. “I am already healing,” I say. My intentions, my actions, they both carry weight, have ooomph, make me well. I walk down the narrow hallway to get the dustpan. I am humming now, and I feel the vibration in my face, my throat. I am already healing.

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