Monday, November 03, 2008


You could hardly tell by the color or the weather but it's autumn here on Long Island. I have smelled the drifting scent of fireplaces and that very earthy smell of leaves composting themselves. My husband has set the heat to come up a little warmer at dawn. We don't like to sleep in a hot room but the mornings are now too cold to ignore. It won't be long until the yards are bare and gray. I really have a love/hate relationship with this time of year. The trick is to stay busy but I'm having a sort of melancholy fog settle in. I will try to shake it off by doing a project or two that are in desperate need of happening.

I have what could be described as a studio. It's large enough to cover one side of a very large bedroom. Running all along the front side of our house. Right now I wouldn't let anyone in there and I have reached the point in life where I'm afraid of leaving such a horrifying mess for someone to clean up if something happens to me. See, I told you I was feeling a little sad and frankly a little creepy. I recently read about two woman I know who had a nightmare left by their mother who was a pack-rat. Again, today, I read about a woman who lost her father-same story, different coast. It involved dumpsters and a combination of angry sadness. I don't want to be that kind of burden to my family. It has also had a terrible effect on my creativity. I have no room to try any of the things I would like to in order to move ahead with some artistic things I'd like to try. Maybe that's secretly what keeps me from moving forward. It's fear related and much easier to sit and contemplate what could be. I really need to shake off the dusty thinking while I'm shaking off the accumulated junk.

The answer is sort, purge, and toss away. I have so often wanted to have a Zen life but I have been, up to now, a collector. In fact, we are all collectors here. There's a favorite song I really have loved for a long time called "Too Much Stuff", by Delbert McClinton. It's an amusing song. This is not an amusing situation. It makes me remember a quote from Fitzgerald's Great Gatsby, "and so, we beat on, boats against the current, bourne ceaselessly back in time."

I'm going in....cover me.


paula, the quilter said...

I've got your back. I have been purging and recently did the garment patterns: 3 archive boxes full. Since organizing the home office I realize I need to dispose of some books. I'm thinking of an marketplace seller. I have been using the fabric so I'm fine that way. Good luck.

Libby said...

Just a little bit at a time - I like to set mini goals such as 15 minutes a day or one bag out per day. Then the task doesn't seem quite so overwhelming. You'll find your pace *s*

Gerrie said...

A zen life is overrated!! I would be paranoid all the time that I was messing up the zen-ness!! :-}

Debra said...

I've had visions of being a minimalist for years and then I retreat to my studio which is full of stuff and am happy as a pig in a pigsty.

One thing that saved my sanity was to buy cardboard office file boxes & give each color of the color wheel a box. I then sorted my fabric by color and put it in the box. The boxes fit neatly on my shelves and when I walk into the closet I don't see these overwhelming stacks of fabric about to fall off the shelves & onto my head. I can pull out the needed box to the table in my room and sort through it for pieces I need. It has really been helpful. really.

Darcie said...

Such beautiful photos for such a saddened Dee. I'm sorry that you're feeling blue.

I know that we each have to do what's right in our own hearts and minds. Purging felt right with me. You know the smell of the firewood that you're enjoying? Well...cotton fabric does not have the same lovely, organic scent. It's yuck, in fact. Oh, don't worry. I didn't burn yardage or anything that I thought was worthwhile. It was all just UFOs that would never see completion...and strings that would never be strung.

So...just try to find peace. And do what you have to do. And let no one be your purging police.

Hugs from me!

jettstream said...

OMG, she's goin' into the Closet of Shame! Watch her, boys!

You are so insightful: "I have no room to try any of the things I would like to in order to move ahead with some artistic things I'd like to try. Maybe that's secretly what keeps me from moving forward. It's fear related and much easier to sit and contemplate what could be." I guarantee this is the cause of your inertia (in addition to the changing season).

If you can't make a bigger space, can you make your space bigger? By tossing anything that you don't absolutely love. I haven't reached the point of having to do that yet, but I know it will be hard when I do. As helpful to me as anything, is to cover up clutter that's needed but not nice to look at (rolls of stabilizer and other utility stuff). I've put skirts on the fronts of some of my crowded bookcases, so all I see is pretty color and not junky flotsam. Makes me more focused. Could that help you?

Kim Carney said...

i have moved some boxes of "my collections" to the end of the garage, hoping the next step it out the door to a new home. It is all much harder than I thought it would be ;)