Saturday, October 13, 2012

Underneath, I'm clean

This post is an excerpt from my new book, "High".
Friday, October 12, 2012
Underneath, I’m clean...
I wake up angry. I have another full day’s disgusting work ahead of me and there are other things I’d like to be doing: writing a book, shopping, reading, visiting friends, resting my aching body. Anything but the chore in front of me today.  I am angry that it’s my job; that Caleb has been so disrespectful as to leave this mess to me, let alone having created it in the first place. He told me he’d clean it before he left. He told me…it doesn’t really matter now what he told me. It is what it is.

I remember Bradley at the recovery center telling me I should treat Caleb as if everything he says is a lie. He’s closer to the truth than I knew. I’ve always thought it was unusual Caleb was such an honest addict, always admitting everything he’s done immediately. Now I recognize that as the form of manipulation that it is.

This day of cleaning is much like the first. Our good friends, the Rivers, haul the first load of garbage away and I start filling it again. And a metamorphosis begins to happen. It starts to dawn on me that maybe Heavenly Father wanted me to have this experience. And as I have that thought I remember this one:

“In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.” - Michelangelo

I think there must be a beautiful clean room underneath this one, and I am just hewing away the roughness in order to set it free. That makes me think of a song I love about addiction. It’s by Terra Naomi and it’s called “Clean”. It’s sung in a breathy, childlike voice that connotes innocence. I’ve played it for addict friends a hundred times.

I’ve included the lyrics for the reader’s reference, but it’s the same thought. Underneath all the lies, the dirt, the drugs, the bad choices, the ugliness: the addict himself – my son—is clean. He is a pure intelligence in a mortal body created by a perfect Heavenly Father. Underneath, he’s clean.

Clean – Terra Naomi

So clean it hurts

You say I did this to myself

It’s not a choice when it’s the only thing

Could help me forget

Hasn’t yet

I’ll call the shots

In my little world I’ll be

The brightest light that this world has ever seen

Behind my stare I’m already there

Help me, I’m in deep

Gardens of green

Dirty Me


I’m clean

Put up a fight

That’s what you want me to do

Well I just might

And I’ve got the scars to prove I tried

I’m still alive

Help me, I’m in deep

Gardens of green

Dirty me

I’m clean

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