soul clutter



in the foreground: a new rug. part modern, part midcentury. my new look. part of my turning over a new decorating/style leaf thing. the background: the story of my life--never-ending piles of laundry, symbolic of my to-do lists, dishes to unload from the dishwasher, “toys” (more accurately described as crap my kids hoard) to clean out of rooms before they overtake us, layers of dust on furniture (note the plural “layers”).

the foreground is an indicator of the background. i am drawn to changing things that are easy to change: sell the furniture! get new stuff! (less easily accomplished without sufficient income but still doable with multiple yard sales and by bombarding craig’s list) rearrange the bedrooms (for the 20th time in 5 years)! clean out the closet! scrub the toilets! vacuum the constant piles of crumbs around the table! (ok i do that one way less than i should…and notice i didn’t mention dusting the layers off the furniture)

the background is a representation of what the inside of my soul looks like: piles of laundry that keep reappearing the minute i put the other ones away. or maybe they are the same piles, and i just keep thinking i have put them away once and for all, only to discover minutes later that i shoved them behind a pillow because company was coming. (not that i’ve ever done that or anything…)

this clutter, it’s hard to see through. it’s so much easier for me to focus on the superficial things. to help me feel like i’m accomplishing something. to help me feel like i actually have control over my life. but who has control over her life? it’s such a fa├žade. there is almost nothing i can control.

and the days i remember that are the best days: when i realize i can’t control my kids’ personalities but only can work with them and try to be understanding even when i don’t understand where they are coming from; when i remind myself that i can’t control the economy, only my motivation (helped tremendously by caffeine) to get my work done.

the real story, the real beauty, though, might be in the sun streaming across the room, the fresh air pouring through the windows. drawing my attention outward, upward, to something bigger than myself.    

Comments

  1. Love this!! You hit the nail on the head - this is where real peace comes from. Knowing that we're not in control, that the laundry will never be done, that the kids will always find new ways to make us think we have no idea what we're doing... But the beauty is always there, too, as long as we are willing to look for it, and to take this crazy life one day at time and not miss the blessings that surround us. :-)

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  2. laurie, i so appreciate your affirmation. it's so true. it's so hard for me to remember this on a daily basis. i think taking pictures helps me.

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  3. Bingo! I was trying to put that into words while you were typing that. I think that's why I love pictures so much, too. You can create a little bit of perfect beauty to last forever in contrast to the work of a mom that is constantly not lasting! The clean clothes get dirty, the lovely food get's eaten, the dusted bookshelf gets dusty again...

    I hope you write a book someday, seriously!!

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  4. You know what though? A mom's work really does last! Just not in the temporary things, but in the eternal things. And, now, I need to get off of the computer - ironically, I have a whole bunch of deer lease laundry to tackle. ;-)

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  5. i SO agree about the pictures. and it can be a realistic picture: showing the laundry, the dirty faces on happy kids, whatever. it doesn't have to hide the reality. sometimes i will take a picture and when i look at it later i will realize some detail (like the sunlight on the rug or how much fun everyone was having) that i didn't recognize in the moment. xoxo

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  6. It makes me tremendously happy to see a post here. I keep thinking about life situations that would be perfectly displayed here...and then all that life gets in the way of actually writing something. Much love.

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  7. thanks, mer. exactly why i haven't posted here in so long! it's a good exercise for me to actually write something down though. then i can go back and remind myself later on when i forget these things.

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  8. Girl, this is so awesome! You have so eloquently put these thoughts into words. Thank you for the encouragement this morning!

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  9. Kristi, I tripped over guitar cables and mic stands to get to the computer this morning. I read an email from Ron on the importance of really paying attention to each other--realizing that I was just skimming it to get to the next thing. I read your blog post. I thought of both while I was standing in ankle-deep water in the shower because the drain is clogged again.

    I've been carrying your admonition to put my attention on something bigger than myself. You helped me this morning. Thanks, Rog.

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  10. thanks, roger. it's definitely a daily need for me. and how cool is it that you actually have guitar cables and mic stands to trip over. at least i think it's cool.

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