Wednesday, March 28, 2012


She moved through her apartment in a systematic fashion.  As she went she picked books up off the floor and placed them on the shelves.  Bits of trash like old fast food sandwich wrappers and plastic coke bottles and crumpled up napkins were thrown in the trash.  She moved through the studio apartment slowly but deliberately, clearing one space at a time.  It felt as if nothing was in its place and as the clutter and disorder grew so did her anxiety levels.  Hating it as much as she did, one would think she would have prevented it from ever getting this far, but it was always like this, never too bad, but always on the brink of being unlivable.  When she is out in the world she thinks to herself, today I will take care of this; today will be a new day.  Soon though the energy evaporates and she sits at her desk looking into the internet to find something to distract her from truly facing reality.  And the day winds up not being so new, and like her surroundings it sits on the brink of being unlivable.

Today though she is determined, and as trash finds its way into the bin and dirty clothes are put in the hamper she starts to feel a sense of control, a sense that life may actually be manageable after all.  Eventually the clutter is cleared away and she is able to wipe down her desk and her tiny kitchen counter and she thinks about stories where people whitewash the walls and floors and she wonders what whitewash is, but pictures a room that is clean and bright and she wants to be there in that whitewashed room where the sun comes through the windows and the air is quiet and fresh like it is on after a heavy rain.

Whitewash is not an option, and the room does not get any direct sunlight, but she tries her best to give the place a fresh feeling. 

Finally, after several hours of work she stands in the middle of a room that has been cleaned.  She stares at the clutter free desk, the dresser with jewelry boxes and small leather bound books, placed in a way that is aesthetically pleasing and yet not contrived, she looks at her perfectly made bed, and she feels calm.  She does not want to move.  She wishes she could just leave it as it is, never pull the chair out or open a drawer.  Everything is so perfectly ordered, to move would be to risk disorder, confusion, anxiety about the unknown.  But she knows that she must move; she knows that disorder must be risked for anything great to be realized.  It seems as if for her to do anything she must accept the eventuality of chaos.  But in that moment standing in her ordered apartment the chaos is pushed back, if only for a second, and potential is realized.  

No comments:

Post a Comment