I live alone in a one-bedroom apartment in Parkdale, Toronto. Outside my bedroom window is a courtyard where women in recovery gather to smoke cigarettes and speak loudly about their pain. How little this affects me is testament to how effectively my bedroom is secured energy-wise. The head of the bed is up against the window, and along the sill is an array of crystals, rocks and minerals: Quartz, Amethyst, Tiger’s Eye, and so forth, all surrounding a 20 million-year-old fossilized ammonite. All of these have assigned values and benefits, which I enjoy believing in, but more than that they, along with an increasingly excessive collection of plants, serve to break the unnatural angles of the manmade, bring a bit of God-given form to the room. It is outstanding how much of a difference this makes. The more of the outside that comes in, the more deeply I breathe, the more calmly I think. Beside these objects is a stack of books I simply like being close to, among them Carl Jung’s Red Book, a collection of Japanese fairytales, a collection of Grimm’s Fairytales, and a few small volumes of analysis by Marie Louise von Franz.
At the foot of my bed is a small blue rug. I get on my knees here, most nights, and pray, hands pressed together and all. I was not raised religious and still do not subscribe to any dogma, but a relationship has formed, very naturally, between myself and something greater than myself. I find praying to that thing, which is more an understanding that there is so much I don’t understand, helps set my priorities in order. In praying I see there is not much one can ask for that one is not responsible for making happen, and so most prayers end in a cathartic combination of gratitude and a sort of Franciscan vow to do my best to have the most beneficial effect I can on both myself and those around me.