Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Spring Cleaning

A pack rat, I am not. If anything, I think I have a slight obsession with disposing anything that might be even remotely superfluous. I just don't like "things" around me that aren't functional and necessary. (Hey. Maybe that's why I enjoy being single). It's my day off from work, I'm through with my night classes for the semester, my chackras are feeling a little constipated so it's time to feng shui my apartment. I have to admit, it's something that I really get into. . . .

When ridding my surroundings of unnecessary items, I employ my "dump and dump" method. For example, now that I'm cleaning out the computer desk, I dump all the drawers out on the floor into one big pile, separate just about everything into a big box, and dump it down the trash chute. Yay! It sure feels good to hear all that crap go tumbling down 49 floors too. Books I've read, CD's I've downloaded, magazines, useless pornography, incidental tax records, it all goes. Sure, I know it would be more PC to re-sell the stuff, but past behavior indicates such an intention without follow-through. I know I won't ever get around to it. For now, it's just taking up space and begging to be hurled down the 49-story trash chute. If I'm ever hesitant about a certain something, a reminder that I'm now firmly implanted in my forties makes me realize that few things will absolutely be required for the next forty years. So, out they go.

It may sound like I've little sentimentality. No, for here are some things for which my dwelling shall always treasure:

1) Letters from my grandmother, Budgie. We were best friends, soul mates, she was a parent for much of my life. We enjoyed writing to each other immensely and I kept her letters since 1984; She happily passed in 2002 at the age of 92. Whenever I need a sense of myself, I only need to pluck one of Budgie's letters. I read one of them and I'm instantly laughing and crying at the same time. I have 865 of them. Such a treasure. Now compare that to a Boy George CD!

2) My autographed copy of Boy George's autobiography, Take It Like a Man. I was a novice in the Cistercian monastery in 1994 when Boy George came to Dallas to sign his autobiography. I snuck one of the monastery cars out at 9 pm and drove into Dallas to have it signed. Having him sign it was, perhaps, the last vestige of the life I was giving up. (Wow, that's pretty sad, really!).

3) My Shaker hymn books. I had corresponded with the last remaining Shaker community for quite some time. The elder of the Sabbathday Lake community was nice enough to impart some rare Shaker musical anthology books that contain some of the most beautiful, inspiring and well-written treasures of hymnology I've ever encountered.

4) Wanda Landowska's recordings of the Complete Bach Preludes and Fugues. (1946 - 1954) If I was ever limited to play one collection, it would be the "Great Forty-Eight." And I'd only want to play it just like Wanda.

5) Framed prints of Kandinsky's "Im Blau" and Munch's "Madonna" (Not the usual one, but the obscure MOMA one featuring the skeletal fetus framed by spermatazoa)

6) Baseball signed by Eric Karros. Don't ask.


At 7:48 PM , Blogger Lorraine said...

Ok, now that was illuminating. The monastary/Boy George story is priceless. The correspondence with the Shakers...I'm kvelling.

'Tis a gift to be simple.

At 8:48 PM , Anonymous Poodle :) said...

Dude, I can't believe you have 865 letters from Budgie! When do I get to see some?? *smiles*


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