I wish for you all the enormous satisfaction of removing clutter, old clutter, clutter so old you’d lost track of the room buried under all of it.
Every time my husband and I filled the Patriot with clutter, every time we drove it off, left it at its destination and came home to more clear space, we breathed more deeply and smiled more readily. It became easier and easier to believe that plans for our new marriage and our life together were coming true.
The featured image is a payload of recyclable paper: hundreds of old mimeographed (!!!!!) elementary student worksheets in math, reading comprehension and phonics that accumulated over a thirty-year career. The lesson materials they were meant to accompany were long gone.
We offered these worksheets to the local Christian school where my husband’s deceased first wife taught for a season years earlier. But they explained that they’ve moved all that kind of practice drill to online programs. Save a tree. Reduce grading time. Eliminate paper clutter.
So. Off to the recycler with all of it.
Sorting all those “best laid lesson plans”… Over and over pulling up a handful of paper, riffling through it to sort recyclable worksheets from necessarily shreddable student progress reports… removing all paperclips… again and again for days and days…
Well I had lots of time to think.
It was borne in on me that time, years, decades, much more than “moth and rust,” is what destroys any value in all those resources we stash against possible need.
And… Light and shadow: It is clutter that imprisons space much more surely than space imprisons the clutter.