Are you a collector of things? Do you dust them? I collect glass eggs, stones, seashells, books, flower vases, and way too much stuff. They abide in etageres in the living room. For a month I did not dust.
It took two days to thoroughly clean the things and oil the wood underneath them. When I finished, it was beautiful.
I look for lessons in the ordinary stuff of life. Both my husband and I are in a 12-step recovery program, and we've learned that our level of serenity is directly related to the actions we take, or procrastinate on, or altogether fail to take.
I marveled, when I was through dusting, at a couple of things: a) all the stuff I collect is worth very little monetarily but sentimentally worth a lot; and b) why did I procrastinate so long when the joy of the finished product was so satisfying?
Isn't it simpler to just do it? Every day I wait is one more day I could have enjoyed the fruits of my labors.
The ultimate in simplicity would be to stop collecting beautiful glass eggs and get rid of those I have, but I'm not ready for so extreme a step. Instead, I wrote a poem, with acronyms, about dusting:
Damned if it is a measure of your life’s worth that
U have more tchotchkes than books
Stultifying on your shelves, a grim reminder
That all things arise and return to it
Diminishing, finally, to a collection
Unified only by its ridiculous paucity of value
Someday your grandchildren will not be
Thrilled to inherit its archaeological zilch.
Chris Alba (c) 2009
The World in Black and White
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