“Spring” cleaning

I‘ve been working through a very slow bit of spring cleaning recently (yes, I’m aware that it’s now August). This has never come easily to me – it’s not so much that I want to keep a bunch of things, exactly, but the process of deciding which things to keep is frustratingly difficult. After getting through a couple of bookshelves and approximately seven percent of my closet, I decided to tackle my altar, which I’m embarrassed to admit had collected dust and random things in equal measure.

 

This process led, naturally, to that age-old question: “Where did all of these freaking bits come from?” Beads, bits of string, various trinkets from rituals past, a twig that I’m absolutely certain meant something from a meaningful walk in the woods some long time ago…there was a lot of stuff there, and most of it inspired more of a confused shrug than a thoughtful nod.

 

Now, none of these items qualified as clutter when I acquired them. If they hadn’t been part of a meaningful experience at the time, they wouldn’t be there, um…cluttering up my altar now. It does make me think, though. When does the awareness that something used to be meaningful stop being enough of a reason to keep it around? It sure feels like that question comes up more often these days than it used to. It could be that I’m a wiser and more thoughtful person than I used to be, or (much more likely!) it could just be that as I get older, I find that more things – relationships, hobbies, ritual detritus – slips over that edge into “Well, clearly this used to matter to me a lot, but I really couldn’t say why, exactly.”

 

I don’t have a good answer to the question – if I did, I wouldn’t be in the middle (okay, the beginning) stages of spring cleaning in August, would I? In this specific case, though, I found something of a solution. I picked out one bead to be a stand-in for all the other objects whose origin I couldn’t remember, and have let the others go after a grateful acknowledgement of whatever they meant to the past Jason who found them so important at one time.

 

This actually turned out to be a surprisingly easy process, likely because I’m at least sort of inclined to keep that altar space sacred, and I’m sort of inclined to be mindful and thoughtful about what things I keep there (not inclined enough to dust regularly, granted). I’m wondering, now, what I can do to bring even that fairly minimal sense of mindfulness to the rest of my life, or even to my closet.

 

That sounds like a good question to try and answer during the summer months, I think, which means that I can pencil in some time to address it sometime in November.

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9 thoughts on ““Spring” cleaning

  1. Paulita August 9, 2017

    Lovely solution to select a representative. Thanks for making me chuckle about November. I run on similar timelines.

    Reply
    • Jason Frey August 9, 2017

      To be honest, November might be optimistic. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Jo August 9, 2017

    Ah, *that’s* how Mystery gets created! It’s generated by all the disconnected meaning lying around! Genius!

    Reply
  3. Winterhawk (Dru) August 9, 2017

    I am on the waiting list for a small apartment that will finally get me home to my beloved New Orleans. When I moved here to a rather gloomy little town about 90 miles away, I found myself with so much stuff that all I could do was store it all know my second bedroom. This town has no Goodwill, etc, to relieve me of this albatross , so I have given away an unbelievable amount of stuff, and yet there is still some more. So I am boxing it up to go to a friend’s yard sale next month in New Orleans. My Parkinson’s disease is such that I don’t drive anymore so every few weeks, some good friends come see me & leave with as many boxes as their car will hold & take them to live with the other stuff being stock piled for the yard sale. And I still have a couple of day’s work left before this is done! Then I will be hoping my name has come up for the apartment voucher – yes! And box up everything else I own that I really do need to keep! And Let me stress here that I am not a hoarder – just a woman with too much stuff (broken relationship, remnants of Hurricane Katrina, family memorabilia ( since my parents passed away & they had even more stuff),stuff I might need someday…) Well, it is almost all gone (what doesn’t go in yard sale is to be immediately taken to charity center.), and I will be free at last!
    Jason , your Idea is such a good one and I will adopt it as my new policy!

    Meanwhile, happy de-cuttering to you, to me, and anybody else that needs to do it ( you know who you are!).
    Blessings,
    Winterhawk

    Reply
    • Paulita August 9, 2017

      rooting for that apartment voucher to come through, Dru!

      Reply
  4. Jason Frey August 9, 2017

    What Paulita said. 🙂 Many wishes for good apartment news very soon, Dru!

    Reply
  5. Winterhawk (Dru) August 12, 2017

    I am computer challenged. How do I add a photo of myself to these posts?

    Reply

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