Monday, January 19, 2009


I passionately love AS Byatt's works. I own almost all of them, and have read them multiple times. Her words evoke scenes in which all the details are imagined and meaningful, from the characters themselves to the art on their walls, the books on their shelves, and height of the grass on their lawns. One scene she constructed in her novel Possession has stayed with me like few other images from a book ever has. Literary scholar Roland Michell imagines a perfect home to be white. White walls, floors, fixtures, towels. Clean, free of stimulations, peaceful. My mind needs to feel like that for a little while, I think.

I have felt entirely too cluttered over the last 7 or 8 months. Therapy helped, to some extent, allowing me to repackage one particularly traumatic event into smaller, bite-sized pieces. That experience is something that will always hurt, but finally talking it through has freed up a great deal of mental energy to devote to other thoughts. But what other thoughts? I had forgotten a time once existed when I didn't have to think about it at all, and I could use that space to analyze poetry, figure out how to rearrange my closets, plan for the future.

Over the last little bit, work has had many ups and downs, and I have felt unequal to the task. Everything needs to be done right now, and everything depends on everything else getting finished first. My finances do not withstand my own scrutiny. They would wilt under my mother's, and be positively charred to cinders under the eyes of Dave Ramsey. Because of some health issues, my nutrition is all over the map, and I feel a little like I'm backpedaling at the idea of having to get back in the habit of meal planning, etc. Exploring a relationship with a man with whom I have many, many common interests and thoughts on life and the living of it is truly a blessing and a very pleasant distraction (but still a distraction) from more tedious things like, oh say, personal finances, that are desparate for my attention.

Here's where all this is leading: I have to organize. To streamline. To declutter. The kind of decluttering that gets down into my soul and stays there. Reducing my possessions, limiting my consumption of goods, decreasing my debt load, purging my facebook page. Setting boundaries and following them so that I can fulfill my obligations not only with adequacy but with an extra measure of personal satisfaction in a job well done. I would be interested in hearing what other people are doing. I am a little daunted by this task, but think I know where I am going to begin.

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