Monday, January 26, 2009

letter #4

jan 7
hi carmen
     I'm back in Mill Valley for one more trip to Ikea, plus i bought a new sound system in Santa Rosa--today i'll get rugs, table, and side table for the couch.
      i have been eliminating clutter in my mind (newspapers, TV, etc) and my house and it feels great but then i wonder what have i been adding? perhaps patience to scrub and wipe and vacuum? confidence? yesterday i wore my brown fedora and long black powerful waistcoat in a walk downtown to the hospital. (thats where i weigh-in at times- i've lost seven pounds since starting this new program--thats great.) i have had the hat for a year but never wore it because i felt i couldn't live up to the style, that it seemed pretentious. then the day before wearing it i thought that it wasn't just how i felt wearing it, it was something different for others to see and enjoy-- i certainly enjoy seeing different hats. well, as you could have imagined no one noticed!
     perhaps the mere act of hanging up my pants on a  newly installed hook in the closet is a positive addition. everything i talk about here would just seem normal to most but coming from a position of messy slobbiness for decades each new behavior seems like a minor revelation. for example: yesterday i opened the door to my new stand-alone closet in the utility room, took out a large grocery bag from its spot in the hanging Ikea organizer, and reached up to take the drapes i was returning from the "take back stuff" shelf; i put the drapes in the bag, shut the closet door, and delivered the bag to the car.
     i now have many shelves, drawers, and compartments filled with items big and small. i say i am lazy and thats why i just throw my clothes on the floor and leave other things scattered about, but ultimately it is less work, Less Work, LESS WORK to be organized from the getgo. without being organized i would have spent time searching for that bag and trying to find the take-back stuff. ( i doubt if i'm telling you anything you don't know.)
     i suppose one could say that to live in a disorganized state is mild mental illness, what they call neurosis. i just visited a friend up in the hills and her cabin is ten, no 20, no 30, no infinity worse than mine was before i began this Spring Cleaning Plus. she has to clear a place on the couch for me pushing aside a bag of clothes or something. everything is everywhere so i have to believe she is mentally ill. (perhaps i have become like the reformed alcoholic everyone is so annoyed by-- yesterday i was eagerly showing my handy-man and scrabble-buddy H*** my new drawers of stuff.) sometimes i think she lives like an animal: she refuses to get a refrigerator--when i helped her finance her remodel years ago she angered me by not at least planning a spot for it, or a gas heater,for the future--she burns wood. yet she is an accomplished musician, teaches, records, has many friends in the business, and is a respected member of the community, even though at any given moment she might have a dead squirrel floating in her open water tank. i have none of that, not even the squirrel.
     if my makeover succeeds and i actually keep it up (i have high goals like vacuuming every day) i would like to help her, help her clean and make over her cabin, of course people sometimes (always?) are resistant to "change" foisted or legislated upon them. i have another friend who has a disorganized house--you may recall me talking about C*** in the past, the guy who thinks he knows me better than anyone, longer than anyone.  C*** says his house only bothers him when i tell him about my organization project. C*** is a talented musician, actor, very intelligent and funny guy, super-volunteer in the artistic community, an intellectual who is able to converse on any topic, and yet all he has is a bucket! to take a shower he heats water in his bucket and splashes it around on himself. (he calls it voluntary simplicity with a small carbon footprint) the other day i told him he was mentally ill, then a few days later i called him back and said, well, he was just poor. C*** also is an accomplished carpenter who built his own 1000 sq ft house and has installed bathrooms for others. (he will be acting in a play with three other SoHum men at the Ferndale Rep the last weekend in January and the first two weekends in February--the four guys from Garberville could use a place to stay in Ferndale, short-term rental, if you know of one--you're good for that. the play is called The Wild Boys, thursday the 29th at 8pm is the big opening)
     which brings me to my networking: i am a busybody, always trying to find jobs and houses for friends, giving unsolicited advice; when you see someone struggling with an issue you think they could use some feedback, si? i've been intensely "advising" this friend of mine about what to do with his house in the Garberville area--i'm staying with him now in Mill Valley. the other day he told a mutual friend that he felt i was pressuring him and he didn't like it. D** has a very complicated life--you would have a field day with him! (now, WHERE did that expression come from?) really, my friends and family are nuts and you are probably lucky just to have me! i may be the sanest one in the bunch. how can you mentally handle all the clutter of your clients, i wonder?
P S  the other day i started playing with the idea of making a blog called something like Garberville Issues, Letters To My Therapist. then the blog idea morphed  into an advice blog for personal topics, and each day the idea is growing. it has evolved into a website with  advice/ answers to all problems: personal, gardening, legal, health, etc, as well as a local listing of artisans, musicians, builders, services, stores, entertainment, community calendar, art and crafts for sale, want ads including personals, and just everything, including local history, stories and definitely a comedic component....anyway just wanted to share that.
     hey! i'm not depressed anymore; its so classic: i'm not doing the minimum anymore, as in just doing the dishes...i'm doing the MAXIMUM, as in cleaning my ceiling for three hours and vacuuming everyday, etc...interesting...

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