Sunday, July 3, 2022

Shoes I Forgot

Recently, while tidying up and moving summer clothes into drawer and closet, I came across a shoebox of  navy blue Keds. Yay! But wha--?! Where had these come from? I did not remember buying them in a shoestore, ordering them on Amazon, or receiving them from a friend, so it was time for 1) a memory check and 2) that Marie Kondo book, which conveniently turned up on the free cart at the library, because it was a fad a while back when I found the fad a little annoying. I was wrong.

The memory check uncovered a feeling that I did have some navy blue shoes beyond the slip-ons that are fraying because I wore them so much and have now become the shoes I wear to the pool for Early Bird Lap Swim weekday mornings. It also uncovered a moment with my mom, finding them in her closet (but when?) and saying, "These are nice!" and her saying, "Do you want them?" and me wondering why she didn't...but respecting her offer of the gift. (Shoestrings? A tightness?) They fit me fine, and I like them, and now wear them with blue outfits to walk to work.

But the life-changing magic of tidying up, as a title and an activity, is delightful. I read it to the end, doing little bits (which Marie Kondo might shake her head at, advocating a big bunch of work all at once) as I went, and the sort-of spiritual aspect of it, at the end, rang true. I do feel lighter and freer any time I truly get my house in order, and will do the whole thing now, though at my own pace, this summer. Her order of discarding is clothes (done!), books, papers, and miscellany.

Yesterday was books. As you can imagine, 1) I have a lot 2) I am exhausted. But now 1) rested and 2) lighter! I finally discarded many literature textbooks that I can't donate anywhere (no one wants textbooks, especially outdated ones) that I had been saving for sentimental reasons (notes inside + I taught from them) and because I wanted to be able to locate again a particular short story or essay. Surely, I can find most things somewhere, yes?! Internet, library. I recycled many paperbacks and created a bag of library-worthy donations. I put some things in the Little Free Library in front of my house. I now have room on my shelves for other books! Wait, that might not be the Marie Kondo goal! Fear not. These other books are already here, in various stacks, and will go onto the shelves when I have finished reading them and/or sorting them by type. It was fun to rearrange by size and type, and to re-alphabetize where needed. And to dust.

Today, by contrast, will be a Slattern Day--a walk to church, some time in the garden (or reading outdoors), a card game with my folks, and a cookout today because it might rain tomorrow. Happy 4th of July! I feel free!--though not in all ways...but I found support and comfort with that (the recent Supreme Court ruling/s) yesterday, thanks to a Zoom workshop with women, hosted by poet cin salach, Our Hearts Cannot Be Overturned.

And putting my house in order also meant checking my poetry submissions, to find that my February 2021 submission to the New Yorker is now "In Progress" at Submittable. Maybe they are putting their house in order, too. Shall I expect a rejection soon? Meanwhile, my dad wants the Kondo book next, and so does my friend, Kim. They know each other; they can fight over share it.

No comments: