Upon returning to California after almost seven years living in Israel, navigating the waters of change and the tides of time.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Pharaoh's Poop Shyness and The Process of Elimination

I woke up a little after 4am (adjusted for last night's time change), or should I say, the New Moon/Solar Eclipse in Scorpio woke me up, Rosh Chodesh Kislev actually hasn't let me sleep much at all which is ironic, considering Kislev is the Hebrew Month associated with dreams and sleep.

Another thing impeding my sleep cycle (aside from jet lag and general freaked-outedness of being Chutz l'Eretz) is my digestive cycle. How to put this delicately, in a way my over-sensitive Libra Rising can cope with? I'm living in a house with 3 other adults, 1 teenager and 3 mid-sized (ages 6, 7 and 8) children. There's only one bathroom.

I have a major case of poop shyness.

Now, many of you dear readers will not have a clue as to what that is - and I'm sure those of you who are clueless are also the types of people who can cheerfully empty their bowels in public places, at the home of friends or even heaven forfend behind a bush in a nature-y kind of place. That's so nice for you. Obviously you were not toilet-trained by my mother.

So now that we've eliminated (forgive the pun) most of the world, I'll address the rest of you, those who have a hard time RELAXING enough to process your waste products when there are other people around, especially other people whom you barely know. This is poop shyness, a malady some believe 50% of the world suffers from. How can that statistic be true? And yet when I Googled "poop shyness" I saw postings and articles that made that claim. 

Now, what does all this have to do with the Eclipse? Well, it's in the Sign of Scorpio - and not only the Sun and Moon, but Mercury, Saturn and the North Node are meeting up into one gigantic cosmic dog pile (really, REALLY no pun intended) Happens also that this Eclipse conjuncts MY Natal North Node at 9 Degrees Scorpio in my First House.

Scorpio is concerned with the regenerative process - sex, death, reincarnation, as well as the process of decay and ultimate rebirth. It's no wonder that all this Scorpionic energy is converging in my digestive system - and I'm being forced to confront, on the most basic and fundamental level, my own fragile and very real humanity.
You know who else was poop-shy? PHARAOH. The Midrash says that Pharaoh went out to the Nile River every morning secretly, to do his biological business, because his people thought he was a god and gods don't poop. I've always considered this Midrash pure silliness, simply because HOW could Pharaoh go ANYWHERE undetected, out of the sight of his couriers, servants and slaves, for even a moment? One does not let one's royal master go unattended, even when he sleeps.

But today, during the Scorpio Eclipse, a little after 4 am when I was hoping the house was quiet and still and sleeping, I, like Pharaoh, crept out to the modern version of the Nile River (the bathroom upstairs that everyone shares) to confront my own humanity in silence and privacy.

Until a little knock on the door.

The 6 year old girl of the family, who fell asleep early still in her clothes from Shabbat, was awake and, most naturally, needed to use the bathroom!

I tensed. I whispered "I'll be out in a minute." And I was.

As I waited a few minutes for the bathroom to once again be free, I calculated that between the time the last grown-up had gone to bed and the first child awoke, there was only a two-hour "window of opportunity" for quiet and privacy. Those two house were from 2-4am.

"Really," I said to my digestive tract, "Is that how you want to live? Training yourself to only relax between 2 and 4am, California time?"

"NO," answered my Insides. "We want to be normal."

"Then you're going to have to accept the fact that you're human. And humans eliminate waste. And other humans not only know about it, but expect it to be a normal part of life."

The Pharaoh in me is silent. Suddenly I start to sing ... "Let my people go...." and start to laugh, uncontrollably, clutching my aching stomach and stifling my mouth as not to wake the household. Of course Moses told Pharaoh to "Let my people go." Because being a free person means you're free to be a PERSON, and a person is someone who owns their own body (as opposed to a slave, whose body is owned by his or her master).

Am I a slave to my weird craziness or am I a free person?

It's my body, I've got to own it.

Was Pharaoh really free, after all, or was he a slave of slaves - Master to a nation but slave to his own ego? The head of a great nation has to sneak out at the crack of dawn to poop in the Nile so nobody will know he's actually human.

Well, I'm human, and modern indoor plumbing is thankfully my culture's preferred way of dealing with the process of elimination. Modern indoor plumbing in a house full of people, all of whom also are human with bodily needs. We'll all take turns being human - including me.

If the Eclipse / New Moon can teach me anything at all, it might be the simple truth that nobody but me really CARES at ALL about my bodily functions, and that making friends with my frail humanity might be the healthiest choice given the circumstances.

So my first step towards emotional / digestive liberation is to write this blog entry - and anyone who knows me well will be sending me roses for my courage - As my best girlfriend who has known me since we were teenagers once said to me: "I've known you for over 30 years and you still can't even say the word 'poop'." 

Well - poop. There. I've said it - in writing. On the Internet!!!

And now, if you'll excuse me, I have to use the bathroom. And then I have to rule the world.

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In which I return to California after almost 7 years in Israel, because when the heart is in one place and the soul is in another, both the emotions and the body suffer.
Welcome to the chronicle of this phase of the long, strange, trippy story of my life ...