Thursday, March 27, 2008

Spring Cleaning

I am once again in the process of tidying my studio. I tend to keep my work bench clear, putting away the many jars of paint, the piles of tools, the stacked containers of buttons and other findings, on a regular basis. I also sweep the floor regularly. But around the edges, framed works are stacking up, there are some teetering piles of junk mail waiting to go to the dump, and miscellaneous items have gathered in rather frightening number on most of the seldom-used horizontal surfaces. Time to clear out a bit.


It is mostly a matter of stowing the framed pieces in an orderly manner, sorting the misc. items- making some choices about keeping, tossing or donating- and then the payoff: making a great purging dump run. I also see that I need to tidy my files- not as satisfying as the results are not immediately visible but it is going to be dreary weather for a few days and that is good weather for such an activity.

I must confess that I am not a tidy person by nature. When I was younger, I was rather a slob. I love the term the British use for such a female: slut; but it has such a definitely sexual connotation in the US that I cannot use it... and I hope I have mended my sloppy ways enough to not have to. It has been an uphill climb.

One big factor in my reformation has been the many reality-tv programs featuring truly frightening slobs and their pigstyes. How sad that people have gotten so overwhelmed by stuff that they will suffer the humiliation of having their lives dissected on TV- okay its cable but still!- just to have help dealing with the mess. And then they have to agree to let a third-rate interior designer do-over their place once the junk is gone. But perhaps as they say, "a kick is as good as a kiss" to someone in this much distress.

As for bringing in more stuff to clutter up the home or studio- I had an epiphany several years ago. I was at a flea market and I saw a beautiful stoneware bowl. I could almost hear the music swelling in the background- "Oh, sweet mystery of life, at last I've found you...." My reaction was so overwhelming- and so out of proportion to the item- that it made me pause. I took a moment to analyse my emotions and found an image in my mind of a table laden with bountiful, delicious, beautiful food. The stoneware bowl itself was the centerpiece, luscious food spilling over the rim. Many candles shed a golden light. Around the table were many friends, all of them there to share the bounty of my life and to bestow upon me the bounty of their love and esteem.

Wow! Quite a semiotic burden for one bowl, large though it was.

Then came the epiphany: I could have friends over and serve them delicious food with the bowls and plates and platters I already had. That what I really wanted was the friendship and the love and that no piece of craftily modeled and glazed clay was going to provide that. That realization has put a real crimp in my yard-saling and flea-marketting but there you are. Better that than to end up like the Collyer brothers or on some reality-tv humiliation fest.

So, time for a good spring cleaning. I will meditate on and be grateful for the bounty in my life, the gifts I have been graced with, and my friends while I tidy, dust and organize.

1 comment:

Mark Monlux said...

I've come to realize that the reason my office looks like a filing cabinet sneeze is because my filing cabinet is in my office and not right next to my desk where it should be. So, I'm now shopping around for a filing cabinet. Cause the old one is full and to heavy and problematic to move. Nothing like thinking you can buy your way out of a problem. Oh, wait. That was the whole point to your blog. I don't need a filing cabinet. I just need to look at solving my problem differently. Like not letting anything into my office in the first place. Yeah, that's good. I will go with that.