Do not try to save the whole world or do anything grandiose.
Instead, create a clearing in the dense forest of your life
and wait there patiently,
until the song that is your life
falls into your own cupped hands
and you recognize and greet it.
Only then will you know how to give yourself
to this world
so worthy of rescue.
– Martha Postlewaite
I spent the last couple of weeks clearing space in my town home. Now I’m not a hoarder, in fact, my rooms are very clutter-free and most of my stuff – my clothes, my bills – are pretty organized. But there were those spaces, the catchall places, that desperately needed attention.
Remember the children’s book, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”? That was my life over the last few days. My 20-year-old son had come back home to live and wanted to reorganize his room. So stuff came flying out and furniture needed to be moved. I needed to clear space that was already occupied. With stuff.
Long story short, what started as “can I move my futon downstairs?” became a major space clearing. I was on a roll and by the end of the two weeks I had reorganized the walkout basement into a decent family room, reorganized my tiny kitchen (we have three floors but the kitchen is meant for take-out), cleaned out the bookshelves and donated 6 bags of books, and reorganized my china cabinet. That was the toughest job, not only because I had to hand-wash a lot of old dusty crystal, but I had to decide whether or not to keep those beautiful gifts and heirlooms or box them up. I decided to keep them, use them, and claim as my own. And if I’m washing dusty, unused stuff by this time next year, it all goes.
Space. It’s such a luxury we take for granted. Unless you stuff stuff into the basement, under the stairs, onto the bookshelves. It’s so energizing to clear away. I also realized that the clearing process is a big part of my creative process. The more I tossed, cleared and cleaned, the more creative ideas I had.
So I think that right now I’m happy clearing a space in “the dense forest of my life.” I may not change the world but I can create some peace in my part of it. And have ridiculously organized sock drawers.