We’re living in a Birdcage. The floor is covered in seeds and feathers… pumpkin seeds that slip out of our hands or out from between our fingers as we pop them in our ‘beaks’ while watching movies. Feathers have been squeezing out of seams around the bottoms of the cheap, made in China, slippers that were purchased at Daniadown.
We are taking refuge from the elements. The sky’s pouring cold ice-rain and blowing it hard against all the windows. The wind is howling provocatively and the treetops echo these sounds. Parts of the wind escape the outdoors and squeeze inside through aluminum moldings loosely holding the windows in place: a lovely day!
A lovely day is then followed by a day of reality… never my favorite. Still I make an effort to ease into this kind of day and try to savor parts of it.
My daughter came by and looked into the room at the far end of the apartment and let out a LOUD proclamation: “We’ll take a photograph of the “disaster” and send it to Oprah!
She has no idea of the mountains I move but goes on to say Oprah will get me a therapist! I have three already, and a friend who used to do therapy. A game of Scrabble laid out, ready to be played, cuts the contention short and I make another promise to get to it. It being the: I don’t know if it will be an office or a studio.
A trip to the library for help leads to “Clutter’s Last Stand” written by Don Aslett. It was a quick read and more enjoyable than retackling the “zone.”
First off: “You may have a serious junk problem if: you have to think about how to cross a room!” I can hear laughter but I didn’t find it all that funny!: I had a map to cross the floor!
I’m not the only culprit. Aslett writes:
“Paper weight… is a psychological ton.” My dear friends, Katherine and Gavin Hainsworth, authored “A New Westminster Album,” and collected mountains of paper while researching it. Gavin has taught special needs kids for eighteen years and Katherine is a full-time artist and an historian. Cartons proliferated filled with files from all their pursuits. I always felt relieved after I visited knowing I was not the only one staggering under the remains of days working on projects. One weekend I was surprised to hear that Gavin had made three trips to the paper recycling dump. Each time the van was filled to capacity with these cartons of paper. The weight of his deliveries was calculated at one and a half tons. Yes, tons!!!!! What are we all sitting on in our own spaces??
Some people stack newspapers up in and around their homes. I have a modest half banker box of clippings clumped into a half dozen yellow file folders.
At one time there were plastic bags full of New York Times Week-end editions I had hoarded and bunched about so I could sit and clip. Here’s the reason I stopped saving them:
I was formerly a Real Estate Broker and had gone to visit a couple in shaky health whose house I had listed. They were in their last decade of life at best. This couple lived on one acre and their flower and vegetable garden had attracted visitors and won awards in the past. The ocean was a couple of minutes drive away yet the newspapers had taken priority over nature. When I saw the wife sitting at a card table surrounded with stacks of newspapers arranged in the middle of the livingroom, cutting away, newspapers became an arm’s length item for me. No longer something to follow but a quick peek at now and then; I only went for the arts, and books and fashion anyway.
Aslett goes on:
“Keep files up to date and when you need something you won’t have to mount an expedition or perform an excavation to find something.”
“Shrines need to be tended.”………and dusted!
“Keep a piece, a symbol, or a sample of a big object or item and let go of the rest.”………….Huh???
“Storage units are the ghost towns of clutter, a testimony of shame.” …………….Oops!
“A rental unit is a kind of oversized Emotional Withdrawal Box.” ………………..Is he talking about an apartment-sized storage unit?
I laugh a lot as I read what Aslett has to say next: “A varnished horse pooh with a few wires for legs, wings, and a beak: The “Turd Bird” @ $5.99 each which tourists flocked to the store to buy.”
“We’ve junked up simple pleasures – everything needs accessories, costly ones, or else it seems impossible to do.”
“New – improved: it failed, and we want you to guinea-pig the second round.”………..Top Producer in the nineties anyone?
“Kids don’t get much satisfaction out of elaborate toys because there’s really not a lot a kid can do with them – toys do everything themselves.”
“Accumulate good health, talent, friends, experiences, and sensations.”
“You can get used to what you are instead of what you have.”
I followed Lagerfeld on Twitter and found this advice: Karl Lagerfeld admits: “I try not to be sentimental and obsessive about possessions. I love collecting, but I hate owning.”
The Story of Stuff: The Important Information in this Video must be embraced by Everyone ASAP! Every Mother and Child is well positioned to organize and bring much-needed change into the world.
The Book is also available, but this short video is so thorough, we may not need to add a book to our overstuffed shelves.
Copyright © Nicole Rigets