Sunday, May 02, 2010

A Study in Clutter

Robin is blogging about a topic that's often on my mind -- the spiritual aspects of physical space. You may have noticed the list titled "Fifty Fewer" on my sidebar. Two years ago, I spent the weeks between the end of the school year and the start of my annual retreat clearing out spaces real and spiritual by trying to have fifty fewer things in my life at the end of each week. I kept the list partly for accountablity and partly so I could keep from bringing the same stuff back in over and over again.

It's been a busy semester, and I've been trying hard to triage (or discern, if you prefer the Ignatian term) well what needs attention and what must go by the wayside. I find it hard to work on a cluttered desk, or in a cluttered space for that matter, but finally reached a point where I didn't always have time to reshelve the books or file the papers before I had to dig into the next bit of writing or class prep. So the piles began to stack up. They're organized, after a fashion, but at least two piles are threatening my work space — one on each desk.

I'm hoping to spend a bit of time tomorrow afternoon making some order in my study, and hoping there will be some spillover to my life — spiritual and otherwise. If I organize things, serenity will return? I'm not holding my breath!


  1. I like how the paper is climbing up the wall in the thingies(what are those things called?) I need some of those to clear my desk ;)

  2. I love the image of the papers climbing up the walls...they do look like creeping vines, don't they?

    I don't know what they are called either, but I got them at Ikea years ago and they've been great places to stash things that I need quick access to, but not on my desk. Alas, these are in deep need of cleaning, too!

  3. For Michelle:

    "God grant me the organization that will lead me to serenity to accept that I may never be organized.

    The courage to begin the organization that will never be finished but must be started in order to change the things I can.

    And the wisdom to know that if I keep writing and creating and living the life you've given me I just may never get truly organized."

  4. I seem to have placed reading favored blogs over twitter these days of limited computer time.

    as for my physical surroundings... clutter tends to rule but is purged from time to time