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.



Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

29 thoughts on “DIRT AND BUGS”

  1. Yep, can’t agree more. I hate bugs. Bugs are trance-worthy. We have massive spiders. Sometimes they ride in on the underbelly of the cat whom I should have called mega-fluffy instead of Porsche. He’s a speed demon but doesn’t seem to notice…..bugs! Ew is right! I hate bugs!


          1. Yes in many ways, but also unavoidable. I remember a grand daughter who was terrified of monsters under the bed, easier to ease fears, but not so, this. I adore you Marilyn. Your pretty precious to me. Some you just bond with, your one of them. πŸ™‚


  2. I think I conquered my fear of bugs by taking photos, although they are some bugs that are born to be killed. Since the builders moved in we have all sorts of newly created dirt and dust, it even gets photographic. Today I took a photo of rope coils. I had to balance the camera on the scaffolding and hope that I got what I wanted. Always look on the bright side. However, we have a suspicious bug that only appears in summer. It has forumla 1 racing car speed and is brown. It doesn’t fly, just scutters. I manage to trap it under a foot if I am quick enough and they only appear one at a time. I know they originate in my garden cupboard and I have not yet found them in Internet: probably the dreaded builder’s bug that breed in the scaffolding.


    1. There are more bugs in this world than we even imagine. Every now and again, I find something that is so hideous and white and crawly, I try hard to block it out of my mind. I’m actively afraid of spiders, but outside, i can brush them away. Inside, i want them squashed and GONE. I think I have a dual mental space about insects — the in and outs of it. The scuttering ones all look like cockroaches to me, no matter what anyone calls them.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Eh, I know and accept that the world around me is full of bugs and dirt. After all, I’m attempting to create soil in my yard so things will grow and what is soil after all but bugs and dirt? I overheard a conversation the other day between two people who were discussing how to remove the worms from their garden and I was all, “Dude, worms are, like the best thing for your garden! Why would you want to get rid of them?” and they didn’t even know. They were all, Ewww, worms! Gross! It was kinda sad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I understand that insects — ones we value and those we consider destructive — have a place in this world. I just want them to stay OUTSIDE. Not in my house, please. I remember when I was digging in my garden careful moving earthworms to a safe spot. Bees and earthworms, the garden good guys.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I’m the same… I’m down with insects outside, but once they invade my domain, it’s on. I generally just put them back outside, but some have gotta die (like roaches — luckily, we don’t get those up here).


        1. I’ve gotten a few roaches. They come inside bags from the grocery store and other places. The important part is to not let them escape and settle down! I doubt there’s anywhere on this planet that has NO roaches. When all other life is gone, there will still be roaches.


          1. When I lived in Virginia and Florida we couldn’t get rid of them no matter what. And as another person who answered said, they’re huge and they fly. >>shudder<< I haven't found any here, but if I do, they're dead. I can't abide them.


  4. I don’t have a problem with bugs as long as they know their place, which is outside. Not in my house, not in my bed. As to dirt and grime, that is the never ending battle that we just can’t seem to win no matter how hard we try.


  5. We have roaches here that fly. And they are huge. I don’t just kill them, I pulverize them. They totally give me the creeps. They have no idea about cleanliness….


  6. I get flies, spiders, ants, the occasional weird looking black bug I don’t want to identify…. but this is a special time of year, as it’s time for the cricket invasion! Fun noises to keep you awake at all times of the day and night, as well as amusing little distractions for my cats. I sometimes feel guilty stepping on one…. then I remember how annoying they are.


    1. The dogs would go totally wacko! We don’t usually get crickets, though there are plenty of them outside. We get spiders (some poisonous, thank you) (ew) and things that crawl out of the drains that shall remain nameless … and ants. LOTS of ants. Big ants. Little ants. Mosquitoes. Winged things of no known description. Crawling green things. Crawling white things. Crawling … weird … things. Things that the dogs bring in that are better off left unmentioned. And lord only knows what’s living in that woods out there.


  7. Thank you for this post I can now feel that I am not the only one who live with a collection of spiders and dirt from my dogs that have a way of making a good day turn into an “OMG what is that”? day. Oh and my cats like to bring me live things to really keep me on my toes like “flying squirrels”.


    1. Our cats used to bring in live sparrows who would then fly around the house. Sometimes, however, they only brought in pieces. Like legs. Or a head.

      What the dogs bring in is unspeakable. My husband just picks it up with paper towels and tries not to look. I figure if it isn’t moving, that’s probably good enough.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I never dust – dusting is simply re-arranging the dirt from one surface to another. I prefer to simply let it be.

    I could remind you of the kind of bugs you live with every single second but never actually see: bacteria and other stuff that lives on and inside us like – In July 2011, at North Carolina State University, the Belly Button Biodiversity study found about 1,400 different strains of bacteria living in the navels of 95 participants. Of these, 662 strains were previously unrecognized – but i probably shouldn’t – so i won’t πŸ™‚


    Liked by 1 person

Talk to me!

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.