I feel as if my tiny house has taken a dive into chaos recently, so instead of cleaning it up, I’m writing a blog post. Not sure this is really the sensible approach to the chaos, but maybe it’ll inspire me to de-clutter tomorrow.
Chaos item #1: A sock hanging over one of my inspiration blackboards. These are three little blackboards — different shapes — that hang over a long high window. They’re near the ceiling, and I write reminders to myself on the boards in colored chalk, things like, “Daydream more, worry less,” and “Trust your intuition.” At the moment, one of them is mostly covered with a single sock.
I found the sock in the street. I actually walked by it three times, because it had been raining and it was sopping wet and muddy, before I finally picked it up and brought it home with me. Who brings a dirty sock home? Well, I did, because it’s a gray sock patterned with red ladybugs, and on the days that I walked by it, I was thinking as I walked about my mom and wondering what she would think about this memoir I’m not really writing. It feels impossible to write about my experience of parenting without also writing about my experience of being parented; the two are inextricably intertwined. But ladybugs always make me think of my mom and there it was, a dirty sock covered with ladybugs, almost yelling at me, “go for it, air the dirty laundry, it’s all yours.” I washed it before I hung it over my blackboard, which wasn’t intended to symbolically wash said dirty laundry, but it’s there as a reminder; my mom cannot be hurt by anything I write.
Chaos item #2: a little pile of jewelry next to my bed. Rings I keep putting on and taking off, a necklace or two or three. Jewelry has so much nostalgia value. Much of my jewelry was given to me, one way or another. One silver ring is a reminder of a trip to North Carolina; another of a trip to Hawaii; a third of living in San Francisco back when I was twenty-five. I’m not sure why I need these things to be out right now — surely I can be nostalgic about those times and places without the physical objects cluttering up my life? — but instead of putting them back in the little jewelry travel case I use instead of a box, I’m letting them sit.
Chaos item #3: a little pile of books, real paper books, on the other side of the bed. I’ve been picking them up from the little free libraries around Arcata, and they’re the most bizarre collection. One is literally a romance from 1982 that I loved, probably in 1982, and haven’t seen since. Another is a book on deepening our relationships with dogs, a third is titled, “I Feel Great and You Will Too,” and promises practical tips for scoring big in life. Each one is from a different little free library, and each one felt like it was meant for me when I spotted it.
Funny thing, though: my tiny house does not have a reading light. I settled in one evening, opened up a book, and realized, “I can’t read this. It’s dark in here.” I forgot that paper books require light to be shining on the page in order to decipher the text. There’s not enough light in my tiny house to read at night. So there the books sit, waiting for… well, maybe for summer, when it will be light enough to read during the hours I usually read for pleasure. That’s not a metaphor, although it feels like one.
Chaos item #4: scissors and tape and bits of paper debris. A string of colored lights, rolled up in a ball, sitting on my coat rack’s shelf. Some cardboard boxes, a packing envelope or two, miscellaneous bags. Tis the season. I just fell down the delightful internet rabbit hole of words to describe feelings that we don’t really have words for in English, and have pulled myself free with great reluctance. Suffice to say, my chaos reminds me that we celebrate light out of darkness. Or maybe light in the darkness. Maybe tomorrow I’ll clean up, or maybe tomorrow I’ll dig out some Christmas cards and send some wishes for holiday cheer winging through the mail.
Meanwhile, though, today was a little short on vegetables and a little high on sugar, although Shine On to me for 8674 steps of walking, not including plenty of steps taken sans telephone. Still, I am committed to going to sleep early, to hit 2 out of 3 on my DRP, which means turning off the internet in exactly two minutes. Cutting a blog post short, perhaps, but fingers crossed for cozy successful sleeping. And someday soon, but not today, more on the DRP.
That sock was a message from your mother — that’s why it laid there until YOU picked it up. Serendipitous connections — watch for them. Sometimes, they’re hard to see, but that sock laid there for how long??? LOL I would have picked it up as soon as the thought of the connection between my mother and ladybugs came into being. And yes, I have all sorts of jewelry too — very expensive stuff that I NEVER WILL WEAR/use. I guess I need to make a list and decide who gets what/when. That said, it would make more sense to sell the stuff and divy up the $$. LOL
I think the sock was, too, but it was very dirty! That’s why I resisted for so long. Also, what am I going to do with one ladybug sock, LOL? As for the jewelry, when my mom knew she was dying, we had a very lovely afternoon of sitting on her bed talking about all the things in her jewelry box and where they’d come from and then my sister, my sister-in-law and I all took turns picking out what we liked best. It’s actually a really nice memory. The best thing about jewelry as mementos is that it doesn’t take up a lot of space, even if you never wear it.
My sister-in-law and I did the same thing after our step-mother-in-law passed away. We went into her bedroom, laid out all the jewelry and although we didn’t know the story behind the pieces, some of them were sets (which we didn’t break up) and many were beautiful pieces of handmade silver and turquoise. We took turns, chatting about whatever between choices… picking up the pieces and discussing how they may have come into being. As you say, a lovely and memorable time. Perhaps that’s what I should do with my little ollection… it might bring the daughter(s) (all daughter-in-laws or nieces) together after I pass. I’ll have to put a note in with them to say that they should go together and have stones taken out of some of the pieces and distributed that way. Hugs to you…
I think it might be the season to be discontented with your space also. I am contemplating major changes that really just involve shifting stuff around but until I can make that happen – I am irritable.
Are you experiencing catharsis writing the memoir? I took a class twice and wrote some things that were helpful.
I got something good out of your post. I am going to focus on the return of light to protect me from triggers that the holiday brings. Thank you for that.
I am actually not really discontented with my space. The chaos was bugging me a bit, but literally 20 minutes this morning was sufficient to clean up a lot of it. I even hung up the holiday lights! I’ve got more to do, though. As for the memoir, when I say I’m not really writing it, what I mean is, I’m not really writing it, LOL. Thinking about it a ton, but the words aren’t managing to make it onto the screen. It does feel helpful, though. I think processing helps us let go.
I move you, Wendy. Wishing you peace during these dark days. Peace and a reading lamp.
It was such a surprise to realize that I literally couldn’t read a paper book, LOL. I felt really silly as I puzzled over the page.
Olga commented this on Crusies GBT:
“S.J. Wynde’s Cici and the Curator was a re-read. It was the third time I’ve read this book, and it was as sweet now as the previous two times. On a cusp between science fiction and fantasy, the story was a zany delight, absurd, and funny. If you wish to escape the grim reality of modern life, read it.”
Thought it might cheer you up.
That is really nice! Thanks for letting me know. Now I want to go reread Cici 2 and see if I can break out of my writer’s block on it.