Editorial 4-10 - Embrace the Clutter

Embrace The Clutter

Saturday, 10. April 2010, 20:28:25
I looked up from my overstuffed big chair into kitchen, when it occurred to me. I remember spending undue time and expense choosing kitchen decor. These cabinets with the nice drawer guides and door hardware. That slab of stone for the counter top (with cloth and sample surface-care fluid.) This dishwasher, and that stove. That microwave, and this range, and that fridge. (Apologies to Steve Martin in "The Jerk" 'That's all I need')

My mind's eye created an image from those in glossy magazines describing a future lifestyle I have imagined for myself. Dare Plan? Hope? Expect? (Please, leave me my delusions.)

But what did my eyes see? An electric mixer, blender, toaster-oven, mini food processor. The bowl and pot that we use regularly that never seem to find their proper place by the time we next need them. Over there is the cookie jar, (rarely has it seen an actual cookie), coffee machine, and coffee grinder. (Which I prefer over pre-ground because I like the little machine that grinds it, not necessarily because it tastes any better). On the window ledge are three charming little salsa cups, hand soap, and scrub sponge in a tin dish next to the hand sprayer.

We strive for elegant, simple, sophisticated, precise. I've been to homes that were neat as a pin, gorgeously appointed, so perfectly decorated and pristine as to be cold and uninviting. But real life is messy and cluttered; complicated and compromising; a continuous balance on a tightrope.

The anxieties subdued are not just "how-you-look-at-it". Every shuttered business represents a constant visual reminder of the numbers measured in the millions of individuals. Every "for lease" sign reminds of untold loss, devastation, and shattered dreams. Things are really bad in many places. Not like in the pictures of those glossy magazines.

As we emerge and dare to dream of better scenes ahead, the really hard work continues. Roll up your sleeves, keep your chin up, and lets carry on.