After reading “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo, I have given myself permission to devote several months to the task of going through everything in my house that is mine. It is simple enough to ask the clarifying question of “Does this thing bring me joy?”, but after that it is steady work to remove stuff and bring order to what remains.
I was very excited about the idea of cleaning out the accumulation of stuff squirreled away in one house for 34 years.I have completed the first two categories of clothing and books. It does feel good to have fewer things. Less is more.Simplicity is beautiful.
However, I am also finding it difficult, and I don’t mean the work of it. It is also difficult to come to terms with how much our opinions, tools, faith, pleasures, and habits change over time. It goes way beyond some stuff being out of fashion and other things being irrelevant. I am also realizing that there are many things that I once loved and I no longer do. It feels like loosing oneself. The previous ME isn’t here any more and that is a loss that is depressing! I am hoping that by the time the process of tidying is completed I will feel less grief and more well being, joy, and peace.
So how does this topic relate to artwork? It relates to the collector and to the maker of art. Some forms of creativity have less of a pile accumulated – for example the choreographer, composer, chef, novelist, and designer. The visual artist must acknowledge that by making stuff we also create the burden of accumulation. I will be weeding through my supplies and my oldest pieces, and keeping only the best (that I love) When I create new artwork it will only be when I have something I want to say and there is joy in the process.
I still get a great deal of joy from cooking, gardening, singing, and making contemporary art quilts. Some day that will change, but I hope it is not too soon.