What I refer to is… Thinking about spring cleaning. Once again, my wife Joy and I are thinking of moving south to be with the kids in the Los Angeles area. In order to do so, it would make a lot of sense to divest ourselves of possessions and ‘lighten up’. I’ve posted about this before (Letting Go, More Thoughts on Letting Go, Sorting). I have not recently read these posts, so I hope I have some new insight with today’s post.
I have a little more experience this time around, since my brother Dave and I cleaned out Mom’s apartment after she died last month. I know first hand now, what it is like to amass bags and bags of clothes, unneeded and unwanted books, bric-a-brac, etc. and get them ready for donation.
Surely, with this practice, it would be a cinch to be able to do the same with my possessions.
There are a few problems however:
1. I increased the mass of our possessions by adding some of Mom’s that were not donated;
2. Now I have even more things of sentimental value to agonize over;
3. I have some projects which might require some of the esoteric books I have collected over the years;
4. Some of my books, in addition to having sentimental value, have actual monetary value.
Proposed method of approach:
If I outline some of my proposed projects, I could compose a list of resources that I already have and put them on the ‘keep’ list.
Here is a good example:
Project: creating visual art based on internal states of mind, and physical perception. I have had a book called Body Criticism by Barbara Maria Stafford, for years. It is a very densely worded and difficult book, but it is an historical look at perception from an aesthetic and medical point of view, “…making visible the unseeable aspects of the world.” This quote is from the book jacket blurb. The artist, Paul Klee, about whom I have written, also strived to ‘make visible’ aspects of the world knowable to him, for others to see.
So, this book would be a keeper, as it ties art history with medical history of theories of physical perception.
More project ideas:
Project: examining how physical space has been portrayal though the centuries;
Project: examining art of the mentally ill;
Project: creating unique color combinations in service of meaningful visual creativity;
and so on. One can see that I would probably need a library of books for the resources I need. However, access to this kind of information is not available in public libraries.
I already know that I have some books that would not serve to further my projects. That being said, I must eliminate their sentimental value or my tendency to keep them just to have them.
I do have books that I want to keep just to look at them. For example I have a couple of beautiful books of photogravures of the work of Josef Sudek, renowned Czech photographer. It gives me a lot of pleasure to look at each page. I have many of these.
Here is a crude graphical representation of my task: