So, the equinox is rapidly approaching, and no matter where you live, the seasons are ready to turn. The southern hemisphere will enjoy the second harvest, and in my little corner of the northern hemisphere, mud season has officially begun! Mud doesn’t sound all that pleasant, but believe me, after a long white winter, the mud is looking very good.
The turn of the seasons is a great time for revitalization. In Japan, spring equinox is a public holiday, so I’ll have an extra day this weekend to declutter and get ready for spring break – the end of the school year, and when I’ll be able to use up all my leftover holidays.
A good turn depends on good balance. If you are overloaded and try to corner the season, there’s a good chance you’ll flip over into the ditch. I’m going to get rid of some of the stuff that’s holding me back, on several levels.
First, let’s start at the purely physical plane. My writing desk is unusable. It’s covered in fabric, unread books, and mystery odds and ends. It’s got to go, and by next Saturday, I want to have a flat level playing area.
Down in the lower-levels of my psyche, I’ve got a bunch of garbage hanging out there about not being good enough. I don’t know how to get rid of that perfectionist baggage of there being One Best Way to do things (and the insidious whisper that I’m not doing it right). I’ve been fighting it for years – probably since high school at least.
I’ve noticed that a lot of famous people have a clock ticking in their heads. They know that they are not immortal, and therefore, they don’t have time to stop and contemplate. Death haunts them – or maybe it’s more of a friendly presence that spurs them on.
For whatever reason (probably that insidious voice from below), the death clock doesn’t motivate me. Set the timer, let the sands run, and I say, “Fuck you, death! I don’t have to do anything just because you are timing me. You can’t bully me!”
And of course, that does me no good at all, mostly because Death isn’t a bully. It doesn’t care at all. It is a simple fact, and no matter how literary you get, you can’t cheat it, or hide from it, or escape it. It’s not waiting. It just is, and nobody knows when that final beat will pound from our chests. It’s a label for that time when we’ll no longer be able to create.
Living death. There’s another label for our delectation. Savor that in your nostrils for a minute or two, as the stench of stagnation wafts upward. Now there’s some baggage I think I CAN kick out. Why welcome living death into our daily lives? There’s a goal: live for 15 minutes every single day. Work up to eight hours over the course of the next five years. Easy does it. No need to kill ourselves in the process.
Finally, let me glance upwards at the glittering ideas in the firmament. So many great thoughts and dreams, all vying for a little attention and love. I can’t choose. What if I pack the wrong things away?
(Yes, yes, I know. I’m spending too much time in the attic, sorting and sifting, and not enough time bringing my treasures down to my worktable, and crafting and polishing them, one at a time. It can take a long time to pull a dream back out of a box – does that mean it’s the wrong dream to work on? Shouldn’t it be easier than this? I wish it were easier than this. There, now I’ve wished upon a star. Let me put it back up in the attic, and choose one project to bring down for this week – no, for tonight. Tomorrow is another day, and another choice.)
And that’s how my spring cleaning is going. It got a little dark . . . . At least the days themselves are getting brighter and longer. We’ll see what happens. And to end on a happy note, cleaning my desk by next Saturday doesn’t seem like such a huge challenge anymore. I’ll report back with the good news next Saturday!