I cleaned out the bathroom closet yesterday, and after, kept opening the door to admire my handiwork. I told my husband and my son to check it out, both of them said it looked the same.

I cleared off my desk on the weekend. Now that was some task. No one could say it looked the same after I had hauled off a stuffed to the gills hefty trash bag of STUFF. But no one noticed. Sigh.

Usually I clear off my desk between stories. I think maybe I neglected to do that the last time or two, because this mess was the worst I’d ever seen. The boxes of Christmas cards only indicated that I was three months late. The chapters from my novel that I’d last worked on in October was another indication that I’d been remiss in tidying up. But, what about the open chessboard with sticky notes indicating strategic moves that I’d been using as reference. . .to a story I hadn’t touched in a year!

Things were in a bad way. My desk was my brain’s Portrait of Dorian Gray. I couldn’t think.  Though seemingly calm and collected on the outside, my mind wasn’t able to move through the muck that surrounded me.

I got to work. I was brutal. Maybe I shouldn’t have tossed so liberally, maybe there was something vital in all those papers I burnt. Maybe. I’ll never know. They’re burnt, like bridges, behind me. But I second guess, and move on.

My desk is a ten foot counter top, on a balcony that overlooks my living room. I overlook the other way, at a short wall and the ceiling which slants up over my head. No window. Stuff tacked randomly in front of my face. It’s a place of work. It was, before the weekend, a piece of work, the ten feet narrowed down to two feet around my laptop. Now I can breath. I can move on from the short story that I will, today or tomorrow, send in to a contest, and go back to that novel of last October. Or something else. Who knows. I’m moving on. My brain, like my desk, is a now a tabula rasa. Some might agree with that in a literal way concerning my brain, but by chucking out all the crap from my desk, I’ve freed my mind up for the next great writing endeavor. Whatever that may happen to be.

It’s not too early for Spring cleaning.

About Eleanor Ingbretson

Native New Yorker. Transplanted to New Hampshire years ago, but still considered a flatlander by the neighbors. Writer of fantasy and mystery and whatever else takes my fancy.

Posted on March 16, 2016, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. We clean for ourselves alone. But the sight of a perfectly ordered closet is glorious! What I like is the equal spaces between objects, and we all know how long that lasts.


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