When I have a migraine headache, I take a hot shower. My son gets migraines too and he told me it helps.
My system is to leave the lights off, light a candle and start a playlist I have on my phone called “headache music”.
Then I proceed to roast my body in hot water and steam and try to clear my head of the ache and my emotions of whatever has them clogged up.
Today I noticed the frosted glass of the shower door maybe for the first time. It’s frosted so people on the outside can’t see your naked body.
This is starting to form a visual metaphor but that’s what I do when my head is pounding. I knead the back of my neck and breathe in the steam while I think of stuff I’ve never thought of before.
The flicker of the candle reflects weirdly in the rippled glass and the weak late afternoon sun looks grey through the window.
All there is, is the heat, the steam, the sound of the water and the throbbing in my right temple.
Always the right side, since I was a little kid.
It occurs to me that I have a shower door permanently installed in my life so nobody ever sees me, not the real 100% in focus me.
I recall in the Bible; I think Moses got drunk and his sons had to get him squared away because they didn’t want anybody to “look upon his nakedness”.
That may have been the first ever recorded shower door.
As an artist I don’t believe that “naked” is lewd or for heaven’s sake sinful. It’s the most honest, vulnerable, and pure presentation of oneself. And there is literally nothing left to hide.
Except of course, what’s on the inside.
We’ve spent so much time covering things up that we’re afraid to look at ourselves with empathy and acceptance.
We have layers for traditions, convention, duty, trends and of course for other people’s expectations.
What is proper.
What is scriptural.
All just steamed up, frosted, pebbled glass, shower doors.
Door over door, layered, making the image that shows through a weak distressed representation of the original.
Far removed and out of focus.
Our power and purity constantly pushed deeper below.
I’m not sure when my first door was installed, and if the handle holding it closed is on the inside or the outside.
But at least now I know what it is, and that it’s there, andI can see the layers for what they are.
Everything that I thought was real, and everything that I thought was not, was installed by someone else.
And I believed. I gave permission.
And all the while the original me is the flickering candle on the counter working hard just to be seen.
Through all the steam.
Seen and not forgotten.
Seen and believed to be valuable and desirable and strong.
And well worth recovering and restoring.
The whole process usually takes around 20 minutes, but if it’s a bad one I might have to shower a couple or three times to get it to calm down enough that I can finally sleep.
But after the first shower the towel is always damp and cold.
I really hate that.