The story begins with a plumbing back up in the kitchen sink on the afternoon of Nov. 5th, a Saturday. Dear Hubby tried to ream out the pipes to no avail, which meant we were without a functioning sink until the plumber came that Monday. So I washed dishes in the shower. :) The plumber successfully reamed out the kitchen pipe that runs under the basement floor, but it took 4 times – as we stood there with visions of having to dig up the basement. There was a clump of roots attached to the end of his reamer. Oh-oh. THEN, he discovered a leak coming down the basement wall at the site of the kitchen drain pipe. Oh dear. Not being “financially stable” at this point (as the Cricket job ended as quickly as it began because certain crickets couldn’t harmonize with each other – chirp) we opted to not have the plumber fix that, as DH said that *he* could fix that. Wifey :) didn’t believe it, but what can one do but to humor DH, and stay out of the way… So for two days DH tackled the job of finding and repairing the leaky pipe.
The dishwasher stood in the middle of the kitchen floor for two days. DH found a crack in the main kitchen drain pipe, right at floor level. And of course the pipe was not a straight line down to the basement. There was a 3 foot section of pipe that had elbows and turns in it to navigate the foundation. He cut out that section and took it to the local HD store. The handy men there told him to use a certain type of plumber’s “glue” – a thick, black, sticky substance – t0 seal up the crack. It worked! I amazingly maintained equanimity most of the time, with a few moments here and there of – what if you can’t fix it! He assured me he could. Oh me of little faith.
Six days later the sewer drain in the basement backed up at 11pm on Sunday night. Photo not available – you wouldn’t want to see it anyway. During the night the furnace went out and we woke up cold. Great – one more thing. My husband said the two were not related. By now I am turning into Eeyore, the poor-me little donkey in Winnie-the-Pooh, with more oh-dears, oh-no’s and what ifs, and how are going to ppppppaaayyyyy for th-th-this... Brain went into stress mode – biologically. The old neural pathways kicked in and I started functioning on automatic mode, the body contracted into a hard ball of anxiety and numbness. I would have liked to have made a different choice here, but I was unable to turn into the laughing Buddha – to see that it was my mind that was contracting around the event, creating stories. DH reminded me that I had become trapped in “the matrix of the practical” – as he coined it – only focusing on the practical problems and not the bigger picture. I had become trapped by my own mental matrix, and sitting in Silence in “The Forest” was the furthest thing from my mind – because – my mind had become entangled. And somewhere in the mental matrix there is still a belief in a separate sense of self that still feels threatened by life’s happenings – blocking the flow of Life through my “pipes.”
So – to continue - furnace guy and plumber guy arrive late Monday morning – fortunately not together. Furnace guy fixes furnace. Thankfully it is under warranty. Plumber guy, not so lucky. This time he reams out the outside access to the main sewer line to the house and can’t find the problem. So he calls the manager plumber with the special fiberoptic camera that looks into pipes. But *he* could not come until Tues at 11am, which turned into Noon. Meantime – no flushing the toilets and no running the water. Campers we are not. Maybe I need to rethink this sojourn into the Forest.
Tuesday camera guy finds the problem: tree roots in a 25 foot section of the main line in five different places. (We have two huge Cottonwoods, and a Walnut tree just a few feet from the house whose roots have infringed on the line.) So he ordered a “Jetter;” a plumber’s version of the “big guns” – a rooter with a cone shaped tip that shoots out forceful streams of water that cut through the roots. “Jetter” guy arrived an hour and a half late. (As Eeyore woud say – “of course” :) But, within a half an hour we are root free and back in business. Ah – life as it is… Never a dull moment. :)
I’ve always thought the “Forest Life” – the life of a contemplative - would be “easier”. Maybe that’s just my fantasy. I’m sure The Forest has its practical problems as well. You can’t escape the matrix of the practical. It’s just life happening the way it does – she says after the fact. :)
Late in the evening, as I prepared for bed, I noticed how wonderfully silent and peaceful the house was after all the chaos. And then I realized that it wasn’t the house that had been chaotic, it was my mind. And it wasn’t the house that was silent, it was the Silence within me being noticed again. The Silence had been underneath the mental matrix all along. I just couldn’t access it because of my narrow focus on the practical problems… I couldn’t see the Forest for the deeply entangled roots… I think I need a “Jetter.” :)
And that's the end of the plumbing tale - hopefully...
You might find this article in Parabola interesting…