I have been really quiet over here, and I really don’t know what to say about that. I think when I stop posting on my blog regularly the void is filled with other things. And then dust starts to settle.
After blogging about my questioning of the “Spark Joy” method of de-cluttering I went down a rabbit hole that I am still in and I would love to write about it. So stay tuned for a post about that. And I really need to do some kind of year end wrap up post, because this is happening very soon.
In the meantime, here is a Holga shot from my most recent roll. This is the last recent photo I have in my Flickr photo stream so I need to get to developing and scanning some film so I can share some more!
I’ve been listening to a recording of Macbeth. I’ve read and heard and watched this play a dozen or more times (as I’m sure you have, as well). This morning the “Tomorrow” speech caught my attention:
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, To the last syllable of recorded time; And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player, That struts and frets his hour upon the stage, And then is heard no more. It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.
It struck me as very zen.
The ego does not like this speech at all. When I first heard it I was all, “wow this is depressing.” But when you lean into it you realize that it’s true. Our lives are an act on a stage full of sound of fury, but really what does it all mean? When we are gone we are gone and our act will be done. It kind of hurts the ego to realize this. The ego wants to be remembered. The ego wants a shape.
And yet we still act because we have to. Because we are human and that is what we do. We go through our lives with sound and fury because we are compelled to do so.
I love that this speech is so dead on and true and a gut punch to the ego, and it’s spoken by an actor on the stage.
Almost exactly 3 years ago I wrote about the book “The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up.” I got through a lot of the author’s de-cluttering steps, hitting a wall when I got to the “papers” stage. This past year, I tried it again, rereading her original book and also reading her sequel. Again, I was really gung-ho when I finished both books and de-cluttered my clothes but haven’t really moved on from there.
In the three years since I started this process I have experienced regret, and it sucks. I mostly regret getting rid of certain books. In fact, I actually bought back two books I previously gave away to the Friends Of The Library book sale, and I am actively keeping an eye out for another book that I regret giving away. I have had this same kind of regret over clothes, and I have repurchased certain items that I decided that I needed to have again. And the items weren’t cheap!
So this is the problem I am having with the KonMari method. Regret.
I think the problem for me is that this method is based on asking yourself the question, “Does this spark joy?” when you decide whether or not to get rid of an item. Joy is a very tenuous emotion and it’s hard to even know what joy is. And I think this is especially hard for someone like me, who is ultra sensitive and experiences a wide range of emotions in any give day. I think I am only very recently understanding what joy really is.
I think deciding what to keep and what to discard on something as tenuous and hard to pin down as joy is a fallacy. I think it’s better to use the rational mind when de-cluttering. Though, I am still trying to figure out how to do this. I want to tackle the clutter in my home, but I need to find a way to do it that works for me.
Have you undergone this process? What has worked for you? Do you know of any alternatives to the KonMari method?
I am happy to report that there are new results for the GITSwap camera! This time from Jesus in Barcelona, and Mark in Hawaii. Here is my favorite from the swap. You can see the rest here. And if you would like to sign up visit this page.
Back in the olden days of my early twenties I took a photography class while I attended community college. At the time I took a lot of pictures of doors. For some reason I was obsessed with doors. I remember one time I was out shooting in San Francisco (where i lived at the time) with a non photography friend. I took a lot of door photos that day. For some reason this made her grumpy and she made some kind of mean comment about my choice of subject and said that she never wanted to accompany me on one of these photo walks again.
She was kind of a mean person.
Anyway, her comment was obviously discouraging and made me not want to photograph doors anymore because I had this weird desire to please people that I cared about, rather than follow my own interests.
As I grew older, I said, fuck that and fuck that so called friend. I want to take pictures of doors, I’m taking pictures of doors. So here is one of them, shot with a Holga in the small town I live in, Sandy, Oregon. This is the front door of the historic white church in our town. The church is now a yoga studio owned by an Irish lady and is also the home of our sangha on Wednesday nights when we meditate.
I noticed awhile ago that this is a thing, this taking pictures of doors, and it’s a blog theme for Thursdays. So I think I am going to try to dig out those old photos and share them with you next week.