Sunday, June 26, 2016

Clearing the Clutter

There are so many websites and articles and books that teach you how to clear clutter, it is a clutter in and of itself.
I look around at my clutter, my disorder, and I know where it came from.
It carries my sadness, my grief, my longings to be heard and seen. It is representative of all the moves and the sometimes desperate clawing out of a depressed funk by becoming more creative. It indicates my loneliness, loneliness at not having a kindred, not having someone who understands the compulsion to create, to make sense of things.
Once, a friend came to my house and in my typical self-deprecating stance, I apologized for the clutter. In her typical joyful, smiling, accepting stance, she said, "I didn't come here to see your house, I came here to see YOU."
That simple statement was a huge healing, and part of me breathed a respectable sigh of relief. I look around at all this stuff in my house, stuff for making, stuff I've held on to too tightly.
Anyone who has experienced trauma of any kind experiences this dis-ordering. It doesn't always manifest in a cluttered house; sometimes it manifests in an obsession with cleanliness and order. Either way, it is a way to address dis-order. The Story, in their song "Angel in the House". sings so poignantly about divorce: "movable objects, where were we?" There is that feeling of being a movable object; of being a dad's house person and a mom's house person. The movable objects that surround become indicative of the inner state of a disordered experience, for that is what trauma is.
These days another friend has inspired me to look at my stuff. I understand how important environment is, and how there needs to be a balance of life and stillness in one's environment...there needs to be enough cluttered activity to inspire, and enough order to have security and safety.
It is also a breathing, like those sped-up films of people coming off and on the subway...the constant fill and refill of dishes, laundry, toys....the moving around of furniture when a sadness or out-of-control feeling comes, the emptying out of things no longer needed, or a sprucing up.
There is always a spirit of something standing behind whatever behavior it is we manifest. My clutter carries my sadness, my efforts to make right and good, my tendency to hold on and linger. Sometimes it is just time to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and become better than you are, to bring order in such a way that sadness turns to joy, and to let go of all the shit that holds you back. I am grateful for the people who have come into my life who motivated me with love and not judgment. Off to clean and transform something, off to let go of things no longer needed...

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