necessity go astray,
because for them
there is no such
thing as a right
I gain solace from this quote because it sounds a lot like my life. I went astray for many reasons in my life and I'm beginning to think that one of them was my lack of anchoring stuff. In many ways, I didn't have much to hold onto.
I now have so much clutter to clear and attacking it has been daunting. Paralyzing. My lifestyle was minimalist after leaving my family of origin (my mother was a real clutterbug), through the first marriage to Jack (his middle name), in my single years, and extending into the marriage with Mike. Just not a great deal of accumulation except paper, and that includes photos. Then, in 2000, Mama died, leaving me nearly everything. My sister, who I will call Nell here, got her half of the furniture, etc. and I got the rest, including all the junk.
Mike and I filled a dumpster rented from the garbage company. We took loads of stuff to both Goodwill and the local Humane Society thrift store. I gave more away to family and friends. We even gave away a year-old, really sweet settee that we bought specifically for our house in 1998, simply because there was no longer any room for it after I brought my mother's world of items here. The settee was a wedding gift to the adopted son of our next-door neighbors at the time. We didn't even know the guy. For a year boxes filled with my mother's things filled one of the rooms upstairs. We finally moved most of it to a rented storage unit. $60.00 a month to store things that must be sorted to make sure something of value (personal or otherwise) isn't tossed away. A year afterward we whittled the stuff in the storage unit down to what would fit inside a smaller unit - $40.00 a month. It's still there. Still upstairs are more boxes and I know that I would benefit from one of those life coaches to help me move through it. People who know me just wouldn't believe that, in 2008, I still haven't cleared it out and prepared the room upstairs for the combined yoga/project room that I've dreamed of. It's as if I feel I don't deserve to live my life and be in my space. There's a sickness in this that I acknowledge.
Thinking in terms of the Mann quote, maybe if I view the mess in more kindly terms and think of the clutter-clearing as a path I must follow -- similar to the way I marshaled the painting of the dark walls in our downstairs last year and redecorated the rooms to a simple contemplative essence that I find beautiful -- my reward will be the luxury of leaving that path behind.