Clear home, mind
What I've found as I've gone through the boxes, files and closets -- and an entire attic -- is that I've faced a lot of bundled, trapped energy.
Now that probably sounds a little spacey, but here's how it works. It's as if I've had little pieces of my mind wrapped up with taking care of this stuff. In my mind, I've put off dealing with this stuff and all the issues it embodies.
Files of so many interview notes ... represents my fear that I'll be unprepared ... represents my investment in these stories that, in fact, printed and were completed years ago.
Boxes of sheets, towels and sweaters ... represents my fear that I'll be in need. By passing along those items, I now feel that I am not under a threat of imminent poverty. In a strange way, to let go of those things has allowed me to feel more secure and provided for.
Boxes full of books ... those I've read, those I haven't ... represents all the learning I long to accomplish and my real desire to hold on to what I feel I've accomplished. By sorting through those books, I free my mind to find and read new books and stoke the stove of my brain with fresh fuel.
I've also found that hashing out these issues, I've uncovered buried ones that I can now address. I feel stronger, less weighed down, and better able to make decisions about them, too.
In the end, writing is nothing more -- or less -- than the ability to think clearly, for long periods of time and about very large, complex matters.
So, I'm finding the old adage is true: The landscape of the home is the landscape of the mind.
AHEAD: As promised, William H. Gass on Gertrude Stein. Really.