Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart

cleaning house ~

atticWhen I was a little girl, I was completely smitten with Louisa May Alcott. And while Little Women was wonderful, I was possibly even more enthralled by Little Men. The character of Nan — wild romp of a girl, always in trouble — was so vivid, so real. And so much of her was me.

Nan & Jo, her mother figure, would talk about Nan’s disorganised thoughts, her crazy impulses. And Jo would tell her to organise her mind. Or possibly it was Daisy who helped Nan. To be honest, what I remember is only the method, which I immediately employed.


The mind is like an attic, full of messy history. You need to clean it out periodically. Much like I’ve been doing to our house this week, preparing for my son, DIL, grandson, and my DIL’s mother to visit.

Beds in guest rooms needed freshening: comforters needed plumping and coverlets needed washing. Floors needed sweeping and/or mopping; carpets needed washing. There was dusting, and scrubbing in abundance. And then there was the straightening: what about this old terrarium that’s been sitting here half-dead? Shouldn’t it be replanted and filled w/ something prettier than threads of dead plants? What about that old picture? Hang it?

I want to do that, sometimes, with my mind. Which reminded me of Nan, and how she would lay down for a nap, and organise her head. As if it were a messy attic…attic 2


Throw out the useless stuff. Will I really  need to use what I know of the relationship between the James siblings? And what about how much my allowance was — in piastres — when I was 9 years old? Who cares? Can’t those go into a kind of dustbin w/idiocies like bad jokes I barely remember the punchlines to, and the cracked china in a box my mother once mailed me?

So that’s next on my cleaning: get rid of old baggage, strategies that once served me but don’t any longer. I think I’ll start w/ the mean things said to me: why hang on to those? And then whisk away the cobwebs of outgrown connections — business ‘friends’ that don’t know who I am now, FB friends who haven’t seen me in 30 years… I’m putting them by a mental curb, ready for the trash heap.

Want to join me? What would you like to get rid of in your own head?


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