I know, I know.... to anyone who calls themselves a fan, I apologize. The last 10 days have been overwhelming. I am working on a post that does it justice so bear with me.
For now, take this:
Have you ever felt sucked into the vortex that is your home? Everywhere seems to suggest something that could be done, should be done, and worse...re-done? For whatever reason, the kids, the dog, laziness, or a hangnail, these things continue to go unadressed and the feeling of swimming in mud becomes so second-nature that it's tempting to think things are ok. There are some people whom I can grudgingly call friends who will not know of this dilemma. These are people who live by the mantra, "Everything has it's place and everything in it's place." Weirdos. One day, though, it is time to go outside. Maybe it's the kids, the dog, or simple avoidance, but out you go and find snow. You look at it, smell it, and realize while it would be easy to be ticked off about this snow in March, it is March and March holds promise! Wouldn't it be nice if there were the equivalent of the magic of snow for the home--something that covers all the imperfections in a glistening blanket that provides an immediate sense of calm?
Only later will you wonder why you didn't come out sooner. Your new red door works. This sense of solitude could have been yours all along. It is disheartening to know you are dumber than originally thought.
It makes people crazy. Or maybe it's just making be crazy. Oh well. My red door works, and I will try not to forget.
Where have I been? On a media diet, so to speak. I got inspired by The Winter of our Disconnect by Susan Maushart. The trouble with reading is I get inspired a lot and find myself making home made ice cream that requires steeping tea bags in milk and standing at the stove stirring milk and sugar to custard consistency, which can take the better part of an hour. Or dreaming about hiking the Medeterranean with a seven year old and a nine year old. Wait. That's a nightmare. At any rate, reading can put crazy ideas into your head and when one sticks....watch out. So the media diet. Ms. Maushart is a warrior mom if I ever heard of one. She has three teen-agers that she has raised mostly on her own, and upon a re-reading of Walden she decides life as they know it has to stop! She was sleeping with her I-phone and her laptop and found this more appealing and less work than any potential suitor. Whoops....trouble. So off she goes to rid her home of cell phones, lap tops, tv's, and all manner of gaming stations. For six months. Did I mention she has three teen-agers? The idea behind all of this is that as much as they are connected in the digital age, real-time conversation and real-time connection were at an all-time low. The multi-tasking that so many of us revere was playing havoc on the ability to form complete sentences at dinner time- if there was a dinner time. An eerie blue glow emmanated from the bottom of her kids' bedroom doors late at night and it wasn't from night lights. So she sought to get her family back and that is as far as I've gotten. In the meantime, I have simply tried to limit my own computer time and am trying to notice how I feel about my own day and my own life. Do I feel less conneced? Not so far. I feel less stressed, for sure. I am not agonzing every hour about my friends in Wisconsin, I am not compulsively checking the weather, and I did not once peak at Justin Bieber's new do because I knew how limited my time was. I made holiday reservations and tried to write real e-mails to people rather than stalk old friends on Facebook. I had to force myself to stay on the task at hand and was not all that surprised at how hard it was. You can't google one thing without another coming to your attention. And I am itching for American Idol, a real sad admittance-one I can hardly believe I am putting out there. But so it goes. When Thoreau trounced through the woods, he felt he was getting in touch with real life by saying good-bye to the distractions of every day living in modern society. But he was also getting in touch with himself. All that techology can really distract ourselves from....ourselves. Crazy, right? Maybe Thoreau and Ms. Maushart are braver than even I originally thought. If you can stand being in your head and comfortable with your thoughts...now that is a real connection. No wonder this media diet is scary.
"Clutter is the poetry of our homes. It is an intimate view that is not always perfect--a few dishes in the sink, books piled next to the bed. Everything in it's place may give a certain satisfaction but a lived-in room exudes comfort and warmth."
Mary Randolph Carter
The Perfectly Kept House is the Sign of a Misspent Life
Recently, I was thrown this lifeline from a friend on Facebook. I knew that ginormous social networking site would one day become truly meaningful to me. I just didn't know when. Unintentionally finding out intimate details of people's lives such as pictures of broken body parts or last night's dinner, who is attending Sarah Palin speeches at Wal-Mart, or when Grandma last had a bowel movement were certainly things I never dreamed I'd be discovering when I tip-toed onto Facebook. But this...this quote has meaning for me and now Ms. Carter has my money because the title alone is all it takes for me to seek out her book.
Anyway, the piles. Oh yes. My piles- clothes, papers, books, art supplies, dishes, music, recipes, Legos, and did I mention papers and books? Who knew they were creating warmth and atmosphere and not just dust and angst and frustration? And sweat! Yes- you know from moving said piles around? I will look at them differently now. With more kindess and curiosity and even warmth. Each little or big pile represents some aspect of my life and that is certainly worth a poem. Or two. I am a poem. Who knew? Did Erma Bombeck write poetry? Hmmm....At any rate, my life contains poetry which means I am really living which means I am piling. Guests won't need to fear-- I know how to make them feel quite comfortable.