For Henry's 2nd birthday coming up, we are already talking about what experience we can give him rather than a physical thing. Maybe a scenic railroad trip, maybe monster trucks, maybe the huge trampoline place.
This week of konmari has been pretty great. This second part of konmari, storing things (to make your life shine) is really satisfying and the results are beautiful. It has been sort of a struggle for me though in finding just the right spot.
So many items still feel tentative and there are projects in my mind that need to be completed but I am embracing the wabi-sabi and have decided to just pick places and if they aren't the perfect spot, I can always move things later. I am trying to keep a broader perspective on all the things.
I have been re-reading parts of the book as I reach a new task and so, I recently read the final chapters again to see what comes next. I found a passage that I had forgotten about that spoke to my struggle of choosing places to store my things.
"There is one fail proof strategy to quickly hone your sense of what you need and where your things belong: greet your house every time you come home."
Say "Hi, I'm home" just as your would greet your family and if you forget when you get home, you can make up for it with a simple, "thank you for giving me shelter". She promises that if I do this repeatedly, I will start to feel my house respond. "You will sense its pleasure passing through like a gentle breeze", she writes. I mean, this is just mind boggling. So, I am trusting that this woman full of wisdom, is right about this too.
Tidying is not just something done between the possessions and the person, it is also an act of restoring balance with the house.
In the attic, there are things that were left here by eartlier owners. There is a huge carpet roll, there is an old mattress, yesterday, I pulled some crazy vintage crock down. There are windows, screen doors and who knows what else.
My house is telling me that my journey through konmari isn't over until I get those things cleared out, too. My house is my responsibility. It keeps me safe and warm. My house is so good. I am so in love with my house now that I can't even really say the words. I just hold my hand to my heart and shake my head with disbelief of the beauty of our relationship.
When we moved to this little ranch house on the south side of Richmond, by the river. I thought that this was some sort of compromise or temporary solution. I would complain that it was too quiet, too boring, no sense of community that I perceived in other neighborhoods. Now I see and I feel and I know in my heart that I am in the exact right place for my life and my family. I can be deep in the woods if I walk five minutes down my street. I can walk the other way to the grocery, restaurants, coffee shop, flower store, 7-11, record shop, antique store, thrift store, nail salon, diner, auto mechanic, white water rafting company, bike shop and wine an beer store.
I have a bottle of champagne left over from the holidays that is sitting in my fridge, waiting for me to drag away that last goodwill run, to pull all that stuff out of the attic, to find a place for EVERY thing.
As I see the end in sight, I am reflecting on other things, too.
I have lost around ten pounds this month. The numbers on the scale are those I have not seen in decades. So, there's that insane magic. I can't explain it but its real life.
I have a little list of people that I may need to make some sort of amends with. I am not always proud of the Sarah that I used to be and there are people that I hurt. There are feelings that I neglected. There are wrongs that may need to be righted. I am figuring out what this looks and feels like. I think honesty is probably the best policy.
This past year or so I have experienced loss and grief time and again. Many amazing human beings that I have known, left us here.
Lynn, Greg, Alyssa, Dan, John, Nancy, Zaequan
Death is coming for each of us. But it doesn't have to be so scary or so crippling to those of us left behind.
This year, I have almost been forced into finding ways to cope with saying goodbye. I think that what I have distilled from the things I have felt and read and grappled with is a cosmic perspective to this crazy thing that is life.
Life is rare. and precious. Our lives are valuable in a way that we can't even truly comprehend . All human life is. We are not insignificant because we are tony dots in this huge, expanding, evolving universe, we are perhaps what it is all about.
This planet is our house and it is obviously way out of balance.
The good news is that love is all we need.
Nancy recommended a book to my friend, Pam, before she died last summer. I read it too. Proof of Heaven, by a neurosurgeon about his near death experience. I also read books by researchers at the University of Virginia about children who describe their past lives with amazing detail and accuracy. I've also taking an interest in all things space and time and only hope that I can somehow understand even a smidge of what the physicists are talking about.
And then I found Sturgill Simpson and I felt like my newly acquired curiosity had a voice and a sound that was instantly familiar. I just think that his music is the message I have been waiting for my whole life.
I'm not completely sure why not but I have not shared more truthfully of my interest in these things publicly. In our home, we are constantly having conversations about cosmic questions and the nature of reality and perception. Although I think I was raised in a way that aims to squash scientific theories as they contradict a belief systems, the truth is that there are amazing ways of knowing that are only now being rediscovered and are gaining traction among western thinkers and researchers.
The rational mind is not the end all, be all of human knowing.
I think that my konmari journey has been so transformational because I was primed for it. I had already started on a path of mindfulness. I had already started to shed the layers of who I thought I was, or who I currently am or who I felt I needed to be. I'm working my way back to factory issue Sarah and it feels incredible.
Those who don't believe in magic will never find it. - Roald Dahl