Friday, July 25, 2008

Cutting and Sticking

When I read magazines I cut or rip out pictures, words or headlines that trigger something in me – even if I don’t know what it is. I then stick them in the blank pages of my journal. Later, when I turn the pages to write, I come across an image that sparks my imagination and sets off a train of thought. Does that make sense?

Anyway, this image has been a particularly powerful one for me in recent weeks. At the time of seeing it (in Elle Decoration, I think … possibly advertising rugs) it just struck a chord so I cut it out and stuck it in. Now it’s become a metaphor for my life!

I see myself sitting on a packing crate in an empty room. (Not being as attractive as that woman, obviously. Or female. It’s a metaphor, remember.) I feel like I have just moved in and it’s that lull before the removal people arrive with all my worldy belongings. I have the opportunity to start again and ‘furbish’ my life as I please. But I have to think about that, because it’s so easy to simply arrange things as they were before.

(I can’t do that, though, because much of what I had before has now gone. I thought they were removal people, but they turned out to be bailiffs.)

It’s time to think what I want to have in this room now; what do I need for this phase of my life.

When Jo stayed with me the other week, we re-arranged my room. We moved everything around – many times – before we got a new layout that felt right and met the criteria I had in mind, as well as opening up some new possibilities. We’d talked about it before, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. But this time I bit the bullet and it worked. It feels OK too. I’d even go so far as to say I like it. (That may sound a little underwhelming but it’s quite something for me to admit to being OK about anything!).

As in the external, so in the internal.

I’m thinking carefully about what I want in my life and everyday experience – I’m not in a rush to fill my life up with ‘the same old same old’. I’ve learned to do without a lot of things and, you know, I really don’t miss them. I feel I should, but I really don’t.

For some time, many of us have been talking about de-cluttering, down-sizing and adopting a life of greater simplicity. For me, sitting on a packing crate in an empty room seems to be the outcome.

Nice rug though.

Very philosophical, Peter. The way you've written it makes me want to read it again, sub-text, metaphors and all. It has the quality of a dream. I often dream about simplifying but I think I've achieved a workable balance in my own life and just need to learn to actually *accept*. Sounds like you're toying with some of the same issues.
What a great idea! (Putting images into your journal and then using them as prompts, that is.)

And I love what you've written. It really resonates with me, puts into words many feelings I've had about creating and arranging my life. Remembering that I'm not in a rush is sometimes the hardest part.

I'm sure I'll be returning to this post.
Hi Andrea and Angela ... Seems we are often playing with some of the same ideas ... and it helps to get different perspectives, doesn't it? You'd think simplifying things would be simple, but it often belies some very complex issues ... well it does for me, anyway.
thanks for the post peter. i like it v much. that 'internal/external' relationship gets you thinking. ive been pondering how can i get less to be more? what would it be like to get rid of the TV? what about noticing how often i use the word 'need' or the phrase 'i could just do with'. i like your idea about cutting images very much, letting them become metaphors. will probably nick this idea if thats ok. ps. is the rug fairtrade?
Good to hear from you Chris! It's good to be a bit less cluttered, isn't it? (In our heads as well as our homes!) Don't know about the rug, though ...
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