Everywhere I’ve ever lived has been dirty and full of bugs. Most buildings are full of insects which, because people and insects are a relationship non-starter, we try to ignore and when that fails to work, we spray, poison, swat, and squash.
Dirt is ubiquitous too. New York was dirty. Air, streets, sidewalks. Its suburbs are full of pollen and leaves and the city was plain filthy. Jerusalem had almost no air pollution — no factories worth mentioning — but it was full of sand with the grit of the Negev everywhere. Boston is normally as dirty as any other major American city, but during the Big Dig, it took on exciting new levels of grime, building dirt and all the crud which comes with demolishing roads, old bridges, decrepit buildings, roads, and sidewalks. Although bucolic Uxbridge has (mostly) trees. trees are their own dirt on a stick. Pollen. Leaves. Dead leaves. Acorns, pods. Seeds. And don’t forget the bugs.
Our bug guy says we don’t even want to know what’s out there. There are things we are best off not knowing. I get the creeps not thinking about it.
Life is messy. Everything is one more item doomed to add grime to your world. Cooking, pets, shoes, clothing. Furniture. All the small adorable things on shelves and the pictures on the walls. They are all items waiting to be encrusted with filth. The paws of your dogs go places you probably would rather not imagine. Sometimes, they drag things in from the outside that might have legs and start to move. Ew.
So what has this to do with trance?
Becoming entranced is the only way to not notice the accumulating mess. No matter how much you clean, somewhere you have yet to notice, it is building. Waiting for you. You could clean all the time, 24/7 and there would be more dirt you missed. Trance — self-induced — is our only hope of survival. We all have things we clean so we feel if the shower is clean and the windows shine, everything else must also be clean.
It’s a trick. Nothing is really clean and never will be.
I am in favor of deeper trances. Trances so total they obliterate reality and if you consider the state of the world, that doesn’t sound like such a bad idea. If I’m going to have to live in a grimy world full of things that crawl, slither, and scurry, I don’t want to know. If my own self-entrancing is insufficient, I might need help getting it right.