Monday, May 10, 2010

Divesting

Windows on West End


Sometimes I struggle with what to write in this space.

Maybe because I have all these (mostly self-imposed) expectations of what I should be writing.

(And what I should be thinking… should be feeling…etc.)

Gotta break out of that land of Should Be, you know? Because any writing I try to do in that Should Be voice comes out stilted and posturing and all around blah.  It's just not me.  And it's just not fun.

So what if I forgot all about the Should Be’s, and what if I just wrote whatever I was genuinely thinking and feeling...?

I would start by writing “I am tired.” Because I am very nearly always tired. Boring, but true.

Then, while we’re on the topic of health, I would write about how I need to be better about going to the grocery store and buying vegetables. I don’t get to the store very often, and when I do, I invariably leave with: cheese, bread, protein bars & chocolate soy milk. Occasionally an apple, providing the apple aisle wasn’t too crowded when I wandered by. It’s not that I can’t cook, or don’t enjoy cooking. I can. I do. It’s just that I don’t have time nor counter space, but what I do have is eight million excuses.

Having said all that, I might go on to write something about swiss chard. Because I did manage to cook up some interesting things with swiss chard once. I’d like to follow that trail and see where else I can go with greens. Kale, maybe. Broccoli raab, perhaps. I could become known for having a way with greens, and when invited over to my (imaginary) house for an (imaginary) dinner party, one person will ask, “Do you think Kristy will serve greens?” and another person will say, “Um, was the last pope Polish?” and then they will high-five.

A friend recently taught me a trick related to high-fiving. I’m even better at it now than I used to be.

Whenever I’m at work, I wish that I could be at home – cleaning my room. A surprisingly big chunk of my daydreaming schedule is devoted to daydreams about cleaning. Cleaning up, but mostly cleaning out. Simplifying. Culling. Divesting. Then when I get home, I spend a lot of time…not cleaning. I only want to clean when I can’t, and I’m not sure how to overcome this obstacle.

All this reminds me of a poem by Kay Ryan, our Poet Laureate. I’ll share it with you now, even though it’s no longer National Poetry Month.

Maybe it’s about getting rid of unnecessary stuff in our rooms. Or maybe it’s about getting rid of a stifling “Should Be” voice. Or maybe it's about something else entirely (poems are tricky like that).

Either way, I like it.  True story:

That Will to Divest
by Kay Ryan

Action creates
a taste
for itself.
Meaning: once
you've swept
the shelves
of spoons
and plates
you kept
for guests,
it gets harder
not to also
simplify the larder,
not to dismiss
rooms, not to divest yourself
of all the chairs
but one, not
to test what
singleness can bear,
once you've begun.

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