Sunday, August 2, 2009

Unclutter for August

The Ginkgo Biloba Bonsai loses every leaf to become a stick. It unclutters in order for new foliage to emerge.

A new month encourages my need to unclutter in a ritual I call - throw or stow. A tug toward a turtle's simplicity pulls as I observe my office and closet. Ah, to have a paperless office, and a closet with minimal clothing and shoes. How to push past clutter to life's essentials?

I envision a wide-mouthed vacuum to suck until my surfaces shine in emptiness. After the purge, I'd add to my desk: one tall vase with a daisy and my Magician. As my desk charmer, he sits with hands in the air, eyes closed. His white beard reveals a sneaky smile. Light bounces from a crystal ball beneath his belt that rests on the robe. Of course, I'd have to keep my fountain pen stable.

Over the years I have perfected a clearing ritual to deal with clutter. I call it the Two Box Trick. If I have an article to re-read, letters or items I perceive might call to me later, I make notes on my calendar or in my Journal. I put all in a red box hidden in a corner of my office. Brochures from exhibits, play programs or items from writers' conferences, I stow in a green box.

In three months, if these objects haven't sneaked out or begged me for safekeeping, the two boxes deliver their contents to the black trash container outside. When I began this brutal ritual, I peeked into the boxes. Of course I discovered forgotten treasures. An hour later I had dispersed them around the room. Now I have the confidence to THROW! without a lift of the lid. I have trained myself not to look - just release relent let go! It feels like such a cleansing. My mind become lighter as well as the office.

These techniques apply also to writing. I've often searched in vain for the beginnings of a poem or essay. In angst, I have rewritten. What a difference the distance made. When later I discovered the original brainings about the poem, I learned that my ability to make the poem better resulted from its loss. Now I lose a poem or two on purpose.

Creative Write: Part 1: Take fifteen minutes today and open three drawers in your writing space. Take out the contents and put them in a box. Go without them for two months. If you do - Don't peek - throw them!
Part 2: Lose two pieces of writing today. Give them a month of hiding. Then - go ahead approach them from scratch. You'll discover a brilliance.

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