Posts Tagged ‘life’

It’s all around me. It stays there, a literally mounting pile of little insignificant things I’ve yet found the focus to deal with. Meanwhile, I binge watch shows, get reeled into Twitter with the promise of the occasional retweet, or wade ankle-deep into a new idea. Deflection with a payout. Yet the mail, receipts, notes, and other stuff from my pockets just gather on my dresser, the bookcase, my desk.

And this morning I realized why. There’s a letter to my landlord I must write about stuff she should take care of. Calls I should make, even to friends I value that I want to call but somehow don’t. Even fun stuff I don’t do. Because the clutter is everywhere. It gnaws away at my psyche, like visual nagging that somehow feels passive aggressive.But that first step is the hardest. It’s acknowledgement of a problem, a weakness, a flaw. So the modest piles remain.

And I get why now. All my life, there has been subtle resistance to responsibility. As a kid it was “forgetting” to unload the dishwasher. As a young adult, it was driving to the landlord’s condo to leave the rent check under the mat because I didn’t have the cushion to mail it with it getting there after the first but before the fifth. And worst of all, it was the potential girlfriend that I never called back. Yes, it was probably not going to be a match made in heaven. But there might have been something worthwhile, but it was far easier not to try. Or say goodbye.

Clutter was daunting when I was a child, but I could write it off as defiance. More recently it has merely been an effective and comfortable excuse.
Yet now that I’ve burst its bubble, it’s an issue that can be tackled incrementally through small goals not towering obstacles. And I’ve diffused the emotional charge. It doesn’t represent a flaw that I subconsciously reinforce through inaction. It’s just stuff that has to be put away, thrown away, or filed. It won’t bite. It will just take a little time, time that is available as long as I choose to do it.

Now comes the harder part: using this newfound freedom to execute responsibilities throughout other facets of my life. They may not be as tangible, but they surround me nonetheless. And oddly enough, they may only need to live as long as they remain unscratched off in my organizer. And I’ll eventually have a lot of physical and mental elbow room as I more forward.


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The second moon bathed the hills to my west, sweeping by on my way from San Francisco to Fortuna, just south of Eureka, 250 miles north. As I got to the two-lane road north of Willits, the moonlight caught anything white: houses, RV’s, boats, even car covers.

At the open plain around Laytonville the fields and trees were well defined, and further north in the narrow valleys the hanging smoke from modest pockets of civilization hung nearly motionless. The mostly dry riverbed of the Eel River caught my eye often. My glimpses were brief, of course, in the midst of the 400-plus corners the route entailed.

The redwoods stood out everywhere, scraggly spires 60 feet taller than the trees around them. Rather than being limited to the usual tunnel vision of night, the lack of lights in my mirrors opened up my field of vision to the subtleties of gray and shadow. Every ridge was cast in silhouette, with stars slicing through trees slowly.

The first moon appeared only briefly, between Polk St. and Van Ness on Bush St in SF. A weathered woman with unwashed hair and a bright-eyed smirk spotted an approaching three-wheeler with a parking enforcer at the wheel. She spun around and gave the city worker a quick moon, pulling down her terrycloth sweats. At least her butt was clean; the rest of her flesh looked pretty gritty….

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