Friday, March 15, 2019

Friday, March 15th, 2019
The Ides of March
An Update on the Decluttering Business

A slow process from which I am often dissuaded by the sunshine, by the essays I am currently reading, by the music I am delighted to find tucked away in numerous wicker baskets, drawers and bags, and which I am so tempted to put on the piano and let my fingers find the harmonies that were once so familiar to them....

And the memories that evokes.  The duets that Charles and I used to play at one time, - the Clemanti Sonatinas that were part of my practise when learning to play...

A musing aside,  --  as I remember walking to lessons, waiting on the bench at the foot of the stairs leading up to the lesson room,  a little nervous if my week's practice sessions haven't been up to par!

Today, as my fingers fumble along, and I note the little reminders left by my piano teacher, I am reminded of the affection I had for her and her many kindnesses, which I tried to acknowledge by "trying hard".  I have a Second Place medal to prove it, won in a Music Festival....

What shall I do with all the organ music  - or with the old tattered sheets of music that were the favourites of various members of the family.  My father - "Charmaine" and my mother, The Rosary and Ramona.

And the music that Charles played, although he gained his inimitable style from his cousin's player piano where he learned to play by ear.   Great bass, especially on "The Dark Town Strutters' Ball"
He also had the traditioal Toronto Conservatory  lessons, so was well versed in reading music.

Well I took all this music out and found that there was ONE book that I felt I could grow older without.

I have to say decluttering played second fiddle to the delightful hour I spent playing old familiar dear-to-my-heart pieces.

Such a great part of my life!!

It was the same with my threads, despite the clutter on the shelves in the weaving room - along with all the weaving books and magazines!

I will start small.

I have a very limited supply of empty bobbins, but a great display of bobbins half full, quarter full, perhaps only a one third full, - cottons of all different sizes and silks of all different colours.  Threads of no use to me, left over from other projects.....

Until it came to me that I might transfer those lovely colourful threads from the bobbins to the warping board!!!

And thus it was - de-clutter the  bobbins and create a lovely airy summer scarf, dented generously between warp threads to increase the width of the scarf,  and the weaving going at the speed of lightning as I weave twelve weft threads and then skip half an inch before I start on the next twelve.

Is this de-cluttering??

Well, I like to think it is.  The bobbins are all shy, bashful and bare, waiting to be dressed and re-filled, anticipating the chance to do their thing in some new scarf or towel or table mat or......?

I will work on the music and find somewhere I can put it out of my sight - perhaps present it to one of my piano playing children, or put it on the shelves that sit behind the organ at the Church.  Probably not Charmaine or Ramona, but The Rosary would feel quite at home there.

A work in progress!!

Monday, March 11, 2019

Clutter Begone


Sheri Hostetler

Give up the world, give up self; finally, give up God.
Find God in rhododendrons and rocks,
passers by, your cat.
Pare your beliefs, your Absolutes.
Make it simple;  make it clean.
No carry-on luggage allowed.
Examine all you have
with a loving and critical eye, then
throw away some more.
Repeat. Repeat.
Keep this and only this;
     what your heart beats loudly for
     what feels heavy and full in your gut.
There will only be one or two
things you will keep,
and they will fit lightly
in your pocket.

These are stern and almost impossible instructions to a lady 
who has been keeping house for over seventy years;
who gathers to her heart six children and their spouses, 
thirteen grandchildren and an equal number of great grands!! 

What do you throw away??

Only those things that don't bring you joy....

and that limits the amount of detritus

that remains in my house!!! 


lately I have been very much drawn to de-cluttering;

to the books that give you wild and wonderful

advice about how to go about this...

I am cautioned to

"keep this and only this;
what your heart beats loudly for"

"throw everything on the floor
and only return to the closet those things
you simply cannot live without"

How can I throw out the beautiful blue shirt that
matched my husband's beautiful blue eyes,
even if the collar is frayed
and the colour slightly faded from so many washes?????

"leave sentiment out of this -
the watchwords are order and serenity"

Well, there are things, like old electricity bills
and tax notices, income tax forms and
other files that haven't been opened for lo these many years...

Would that satisfy the Orderly Gods?

I don't THINK SO!!

I believe we require more drastic action
to reach serenity with a capital S!!

I shall make a half hearted attempt
starting with the contents of the old trunk 
that belonged to my parents,
and going on to whatever might be stored
in my "hope" chest...

but books????  Not likely...

It is a long time since I have read Teilhard de Chardin
or Clemance Dane,
but if the longing for them should overtake me
they have more to offer than

Martha Stewart's
100 ways to unclutter your home.

.......and my thirty years of Handwoven Magazines
are precious to me
and bring me great JOY

This is an on going thing - I will let you know how we fare!