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Weekend Coffee Share, Procrastination As Art

September 25, 2016 6 Comments

spark joy

spark joy

If we were having coffee this weekend I would invite you to join the world wide gathering of coffee and tea drinkers who share an interest in reading and writing.  It is fun to be back at the table with such a diverse and interesting crowd.  I feel good about hosting you this weekend because I just received my fall order from my favorite tea company.  Even though I had many on hand, I just love having a wide variety of tea because we drink it all day every day.  I also drink coffee, but cold tea is our main beverage de la casa.  I can offer you roiboos, honeybush, green, white, and fruit based tea.  I am binging on one of the new ones, a green tea with caramel hints for fall.  It is not overly flavored, but the hint of caramel lingers after I drink it.

If we shared our deepest conflict of the week mine would have to be the stand off in which I find myself with the Japanese tidy lady, Marie Kondo.  She has published two books that have inspired a wave of praise.  I decided to have my robot Alexa, and Audible in general, read her first book to me.  This step by step guide to clearing out junk by clearing out emotional clutter is specific and wonderfully logical.  After hearing The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up I realized that I had no hard copy, and would never be able to follow her intricate folding technique without that.  I bought her second book, Spark Joy, in the kindle print version, then added narration in order to continue my audio tutelage from Ms Kondo.  I listen to her at home and at the gym. I am convinced she is right about everything.

While I do donate and cull my possessions all the time I know I will not have permanent freedom from clutter, both emotional and physical, until I follow the tidy steps.  Instead of doing that I am listening to the books and telling everyone how great they are.  I have not started the program, and have, indeed, while supposedly enrolled in Ms Kondo’s Key to Happiness class, placed a big tea order without going through my tea cupboard to tidy. I have also purchased a fabulous reversible jacket on sale at a thrift store that came out to just $3 per jacket, if you count both sides. I am a complete jacket-a-holic.  I know when I finally make the clothing piles the jacket pile will be the most obscene and ridiculous.  I have them stashed in every closet and in the barn.  Marie would so bust me, and in fact, she has fully busted me rhetorically.  I would like to see her try to bust me in person…really I would.  I am now using major procrastination, thinly disguised as training, to listen to the books instead of doing the tidying.  I am pretty sure this is antithetical.

I had a comical conversation about the tidy lady and her program with a friend who is a successful real estate agent.  She owns lots of stuff as well as lots of real estate.  We discussed the perils of owning a barn.  In the end we decided we should just walk around and give our stuff directly to homeless people.  We would have fun doing it.  However I go about this I need to commence.  The agony of procrastination is not worth it.  I am not a terrible hoarder, but am certainly meeting the part of me that would just as soon become one in the future.  Her little shadow persona must be brought to heel.

I enjoy hearing from all you nordics at the coffee party, with your leaf colors, and your fall customs.  I had to buy a new air conditioning unit last week because it is still very hot in Tucson, and mine died.  I did get a good deal from a local company, so all is well.  I have every kind of tea, and the house is cool and comfy.  I think you will be fine with the present level of tidy, but don’t open my office closet.


History and Conflict

July 30, 2014 4 Comments


I spend a lot of time studying history, usually by learning about my own ancestry. The knowledge of my own family in different time periods has really helped me to get a better understanding of significant events and political movements. I began with some curiosity about how my own parents developed their ideas and culture, and now I can’t stop. I guess I don’t think about my own place in history, but a visit to the University I attended when I was 17 has given me both flash backs and chills. The anti-war movement and what was known as the free speech movement were obvious choices for me as a teen. I disagreed with all forms of violence, and my parents not only practiced violence in their personal lives, but firmly believed that military might and hatred were American privileges. I see now that my own reaction to their way of thinking not only changed my life, but changed history.

Now we find ourselves in a highly militaristic and war torn world.  Racism has not disappeared, but has gone underground. Poverty and lack of education and health care are in about the same situation as the 1950’s.  The effects of the laws, the programs, and the ideals that lifted America to a better place have virtually vanished into thin air.  We have more descent about politics then I have seen in my lifetime.  Our people are addicted to debt and squandering resources mindlessly.  Greed has replaced most other motives, and corporations can buy any government they want.  I will not form any philosophy around this decay and lowering of standards for the greater good because it has been happening since the dawn of time.  Our recurrent situation, fighting in wars in foreign lands for no logical purpose is no different from the Crusades, or the devastation of Native America.  Power may not beget evil, but the cycles of  tragedy follow the cycles of power.  We can only analyze the past after time has passed and those cycles become clear.  In my youth I thought that ending the Vietnam War would end all wars.  I have to wonder if this feeling also has occurred in young people forever.  The idea that when we finally have power we will change the world to make it better for everyone could not possibly have been originated by hippies.  I am sure there have always been those who wanted to give peace a chance. Things have to hit bottom before they bounce, just like real estate.  I can only hope that bottom is once again in sight, and that the end of my life will resemble the beginning, with an attitude of hope and conviction that we can do better.


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