Dawn Reader

Dawn Reader
from Open Door Coffee Co.; Hudson, OH; Oct. 26, 2016

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Clutter ...

September 20, 2016
9:57 a.m.
Virginia Woolf wrote a little book--A Room of One's Own (1929--actually, a long essay based on some lectures)--about women and writing and having a space to write. I've actually had a space like that since very early in our marriage. The year our son was born (1972) we moved to a (rented) home, 214 S. Willow St. in Kent, Ohio, a place recently razed to make room for the Esplanade project there in Kent. (Oh, the shrines! The shrines we lost!) Both Joyce and I had studies there, though, I'll admit, mine was better. (It doesn't help to say that she insisted I take that space; I was still a jerk to do so.)

Anyway, in every subsequent home of ours--rented and owned--we've both had a room of our own. (Right now, as if to compensate for 1972, Joyce enjoys virtually all our upstairs!)

The picture above shows my current space. And--to put it mildly--it's cluttered. (Miss Havisham would blush with embarrassment.)


I was never all that good about keeping my room clean. I didn't get a room of my own until I was about 13. Prior to that I'd "shared" space with my older brother and then, later, my younger. My older brother terrified me with tales of The Man in the Closet in the mid-1940s when we were living at 1609 1/2 East Broadway, upstairs from our maternal grandparents, and I still kinda keep closet doors open at night. (Not really--but it's kind of amusing to think so, isn't it?)

In Hiram, Ohio (where we moved in the summer of 1956), I had a room of my own in the house we bought after we spent a year in college housing. It was small; it had no heat vent. (I had to rely on the kindness of my nearby brothers to keep the doors to their vented rooms open so that I could avoid freezing to death in winter; they didn't always comply ... can you imagine?)

And in that room (as I said, I was about 13 or so) I first learned that I was incapable of keeping my space uncluttered. (I rarely even made the bed.)

Our parents tried everything--warnings, punishments, sanctions, Oreos. My mom even tried a financial incentive: extra $$ on the allowance for a clean room. Little brother Davi snapped up the extra $$, as did my older brother. I, however, had principles and would not be bought! (Though, okay, I sometimes swiped money from my older brother, who kept it "hidden" under a little serape that covered his dresser--a serape that bulged in key places.)

I have gotten (somewhat) better over the years--I make the bed; I keep "my" part of the bedroom (somewhat) neat. The clutter throughout the house is (somewhat) manageable.

But in my room? My study?

Well, the picture above tells that sad, sordid story. I am a curious mixture of organized and messy. I know where stuff is--pretty much.

Back to the Future (well, the Present)

Today I am disgusted when I look at my room. So ... I am going to spend the next hour like Mary Poppins and Nanny McPhee, whirling around my room, making decisions about things, decisions I've delayed for decades (in some cases) ...


Well, it's a little better, I guess--some things tossed, some things filed, some things hidden elsewhere (out of sight ...). So much more to do. But I'm tired of it. (Where's Mary Poppins when you need her?)

But Miss Havisham just stopped by, smiling.

September 20, 2016
11:28 a.m.

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