You and Your Junk Are One

“I know it sounds strange, but if you start by focusing on the clutter, you will never get organized. Getting truly organized is rarely about ‘the stuff.'” –Peter Walsh, It’s All Too Much

Reading these words I had the feeling that Mr. Walsh knew me, knew my struggle, knew my despair. After all, I’ve been trying wholeheartedly to get more organized. As a writer my career is all about organizing words and thoughts, and I’m pretty damn good at it. So why do I have such trouble in my physical space?

For some years I’ve felt that there must be some kind of Ariadne’s thread that could lead me out of the maze of confusion and crapitation that I’ve created for myself. After all, being uncluttered is pretty simple–when you’re done with something, put it away.

So why the persistence of chaos crapula and smeck in my life? Despite persistent efforts at GTD and the 15 Minute Clean Sweep?

It must be that kruftitation reflects something that’s going on inside me. There’s not such a clear line between the stuff on the outside and the stuff on the inside, a notion that I first got by reading Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. “This eternally dualistic subject-object way of approaching the motorcycle sounds right to us because we’re used to it. But it’s not right. It’s always been an artificial intepretation superimposed on reality. It’s never been reality itself.”

I have only a casual grasp of what Pirsig must mean when he claims that there is a nondualistic relationship between the motorcycle and the rider, or in my case between me and my crap. I’d need a pocket philosopher to go any deeper than that.

Nevertheless I’m going to take Mr. Walsh at his word and shift my mind and my priorities toward decrapifying my life, in hopes that I’ll find a larger sense of purpose at the bottom of the pile.

“…from the clutter and disarray you are going to unearth those things that are most important in your life.” –Peter Walsh, It’s All Too Much

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