This came for me, Zambonesman, yesterday:
QUESTION FOR “Z”
My house is always in a chaotic state. Does this mean my life will also be chaotic?
Actually it came for me three days ago but according to Jordan, my human conduit, I have been in a deep sleep under the couch for 72 hours. In reality, I chased a mouse under there and fell through a trap door leading me to a most amazing world in which I learned much from several old mice, who, being mice, had a very different perspective on things and being so small had no trouble traveling anywhere they wished or spying upon all forms of life. But I will try to stay on task now with this latest question since I have lost some time.
Harvey, you are correct, mostly. You know, science has proven that the best way to get to know someone deeply is not to spend a life knowing them, but merely to take a quick glance at their bookshelf. I can open your door, walk into your house, look, and walk right back out in 5 minutes and I will know about you. If I stay an hour, I will not. In a way it as as Oscar Wilde said, “only the most superficial of people do not judge by first impressions.” Yes I know this confusing but Zamboni has point to make.
Does a messy person have a messy life? Yes, of course. But there is many kind of mess. My great uncle, the Arch Duke Quinforshkin of Murmansk, lives in a castle crowded with stuffed animals, crumbling books, half drunk cups of Kvass, duelling pistols, ancient parchments containing recipes for long forgotten cheese and countless other ephemera. But, his mess is not a dirty, or smally mess..you see, it represents him; he is a scattered person of many passions but is still dignified and cares how he seems and smells to others. He is a collector of wonders and there is room in his place to see them.
On the other hand, my uncle Gripshank, lives in a small shack in the Black Forest which smells of garbage and maggot. But none of this is accident. Is not that he can’t be clean, or knows not what a broom is, it is that he wishes not to, he wishes to keep people away, and be left to his jam making. The Arch Duke has many friends and two lovers, ( a bearded woman named Shul, and her brother, a dwarf with mind-reading abilities named Fregula) and these people love to search through the miscellany of his adventured life.
So, Harvey.. the question is not does your chaotic house mean you have chaotic life, the real interesting thing is, look at your house, even one corner: this will reveal truth of you. What is your chaos showing?
I put this to the test, and took snapshot of random corner in Jordan’s house, see below.
So, just from this contents, this little chaos, I learn much.
-Ulysses, by James Joyce: He wish to read this, but is too difficult. Cover was dusty.
-Old baseball, and baskletball cards: He waiting to cash in, but these ghosts of childhood, he’ll never get rid of, those old dreams of being …?
-Shoebox: Filled with Great American Novel scribbled on napkins and matchbooks. Disorganized. He have dreams of being Hemingway, but to finish would risk failure, so it remains, “in process.”
-Arty old journal notebooks. He scribble much neurosis in these in hopes it make art because cover is pretty.
-Book without jacket is “A Guide to the Good Life” about Stoicism in everyday life. Shows signs of use.
So just from five things, I learn this person is a searching, thinking person, with many dreams in many directions, but perhaps weighed down by some things, who cares for beauty and learning and who will never sell these baseball cards or finish novel.
So Harvey, I believe that if you are honest with yourself, you see your house is exactly as you wish it to be, and it is like a signpost telling all those who visit, exactly who you are and what you want from them.
I once knew a man who lived in a trailer that was stuffed with stacks and stacks of newspapers, like the dense city skylines of a million metropoli, all crammed tightly. I wondered long and hard about what cause his mania, but noticed the main effect was, there was no room for people. This man, had lost his room for people in his life. Is your chaos saying “come into my chaos and play?” Or something else.
Zamboni has spoken.
I will now continue my own spring cleaning. (Personal rule, If I haven’t looked at or used it in 3 months, it goes.)
I wish you well…