Distractions

“A good library will never be too neat, or too dusty, because somebody will always be in it, taking books off the shelves and staying up late reading them.” 

Lemony Snicket, Horseradish

Today, I discovered why I have a problem cleaning my office.

Other than the fact I work better with some disorganization to my work area, I realized the problems begin with the first step of my cleaning process–putting away the books on my desk.

This initial step starts a cascade of stumbling blocks, each one creating its own level of distraction.

Before putting things away, I need to sort the books on my desk, creating the first of many decision points. Am I done with this book or do I want to grab more quotes? Once the decision is made, I search for an empty space on the shelves…pushing the book into the tight space, I spy a book I’ve been looking for and have on my list to read in the next week…grabbing that book and starting a new stack on my desk my eyes flash onto another book needed for quotes I want to put in a card this week…with that thought my mind jumps to maximum attention—where is that card?…that nagging question nibbles at my thought process as I scan the shelves, realizing I will have to redo at least one shelf in order to put books away…as my eyes roll upward there is movement outside the office window. It’s our mail person…

The list of distractions goes on and on…my desk is less organized now than it was when I started.

I may not have achieved all I wanted but I did succeed in finding a prayer to share today.

I’d read this prayer written by Thomas Merton years ago. At the time I was comforted by the fact even Merton felt lost and uncertain at times. Today when I picked up my, The Little Book of Prayers, it magically opened to the prayer I’d hoped to find.

Ya gotta smile.

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself and the fact that I think that I am following Your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please You does in fact please You. And I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this, You will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust You always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for You are ever with me, and You will never leave me to face my perils alone.   ~Thomas Merton

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~

 

 

Looking Out

“It has shown me that everything is illuminated in the light of the past. It is always along the side of us…on the inside, looking out.” 

Jonathan Safran Foer

It has been a glorious day in the hill country of Texas.

Michael and I walked the dogs and came home to start cleaning up the yard. I learned last year the window to do this type of work is pretty narrow.

The thing about doing yard work is my mind if free to think–I don’t have the ability to work and filter thoughts. The result is all kinds of random memories float unbidden in and out of my consciousness.

Today thoughts of my dad hung out with me as I pulled weeds and examined the surviving plants and shrubs. As I dug out clusters of weeds I remembered clearing off his huge desk top.

I was probably five or six years old and I thought I was such an excellent helper. As I looked over his desk, it was obvious, he needed some help.

The focal point of the desk was a large dark glass ashtray. This was where I’d start because it was always over flowing. I knew from my frequent visits this office was the meeting place for sales people, people with questions about supplies, and anyone in need of help figuring out what was needed for a special project. I knew many of those conversations were at least two or three cigarettes long which explained the condition of that ashtray.

With the focal point polished and replaced in its prominent position, I’d polish the glass top and begin repositioning papers. I’d dash around the desk, placing neat stacks next to the next neat stack, carefully making each stack the same height as the next while aligning all edges perfectly to the edges of the desk.

It was a work of art and I was so proud.

I learned years later my hard work created even more hard work for my dad. What appeared to be unorganized was actually carefully and very personalized paper placement. It took him days to find things after my surprise cleaning visits.

The most amazing thing about this memory is I realized just this morning my desk top has ALWAYS looked exactly like my dad’s–before I showed up to help him out–minus that big ashtray.

I’m thinking I may need to wave the white flag at some of my decluttering attempts.

“When the remembering was done, the forgetting could begin.” 

Sara Zarr

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~