The Trap 1

It’s sweet, as traps tend to be. It looks like a luxurious Saturday morning, full of promise and rest and only what I want to do. This is why it’s a trap, you see.

My trap looks like my big blue chair; the table nearby holding my coffee and my knitting, the matching ottoman keeps my laptop safe. A fluffy blanket seduces me and I want to sit in this chair all day. I tell myself, I can teach homeschool from the corner chair. I can give spelling tests and teach math. I can have my minions bring me things. My jammies are so soft. The blanket so warm. The coffee so so good. The chair is so receptive to my weight.

The chair is dangerous. The chair, as trap, makes promises it cannot keep.

Instead, I lace up my shoes. The wind outside carries the sting of winter and my first few steps crackle through my bones. I could turn around. Forget this, I want to say. It’s cold. But I go anyway. I go mindlessly, not hearing the music that pulses, not noticing the cars or the people or the donut shop. I move.

When I get home, I do not have time for the chair. I stink, and I am sweaty, and I have things to do.

The chair still sits in the corner, winking at me, come hither and all.

Washing dishes, I like the burn of the hot water on my hands. The soap on the sponge makes happy bubbles, and the smell of it pleases me. Small joy. I have been frowning, I notice, when I am reminded of a friend. She’s there, in my mind, on my mind, and instead of thinking of my own ick, I’m thinking of hers, and I am satisfied by the distraction, pleased to be outside my own four interior walls, happy, in a strange sort of way, to be called away on important business. The important business of compassion. 

Oh to curl up in a corner, to retreat from the world, to hide from the sadness that overwhelms us.

I am tempted by the chair, by the call to insulate and isolate, to reject the stuff of busyness. The idea of ensconcing myself in my little blue fortress sounds like it might be perfect.

I know, of course I know, it’s not the blue chair that isolates, just as it is not the running or the praying or the moving that cures, necessarily. The blue chair is surrender. And that is not something I can do.

How do you fight your internal battles? What are your traps?