Project Minima:

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Acedia: the lost name for the emotion we're all feeling right now*


image of Acedia by Hieronymus Wierix


     It begin as a deceptively slight shift in thought, or rather...a quick succession of thoughts that distract me from my right mind.  I've been working too long and need a break; maybe I should read a mystery novel to clear my head.  I tell myself I'm too weary to concentrate.  I tell myself that it is a matter of respecting my limitations, and of being good to myself.  If I manage to read one book, and then return to my other obligations, no harm is done.  But often, one book does not satisfy me.  My "rest" has only made me more restless, and as I finish one book, I am tempted to pick up another.  If I don't check myself, I can slip into a state both anxious and lethargic, in which I trudge through four or five paperbacks a day, for three or four days running.  I am consuming books rather than reading them.


    I may have begun with a well-written novel, but soon I am ingesting whatever I can get my hands on.  Morbidly conscious of the time I am wasting.  I race feverishly through a book so preposterously and badly written that it nauseates me.  If I pick up a more serious book, something that might bring me to my senses, I am likely to plow through it so thoughtlessly as if it were a genre thriller...My days are not lived so much as wasted in compulsive reading.  I stop answering the phone and getting the mail, ignoring everything but the next page, the next book in the pile...


     It amazes me how quickly acedia can deaden what has long been a pleasure for me, and with what facility despair will replace the joy I once found in the act of reading.  But my dilemma is less literary than spiritual.  If my torpor is left unchecked, I lose the ability to savor not only reading, but life itself.  I develop a loathing for fresh food, letting salad greens and strawberries languish in the refrigerator while I fill up on popcorn... 

                                                                                from Acedia & Me by Kathleen Norris


I couldn't believe when I read the above passages!  It was exactly what I've been doing/feeling.  I've read several books on the topic, and this one has been the most comprehensive thus far.




As for as Kondo-ing goes, I'm completely stuck at art supplies.  


I did finishing going through my books and unloaded all my art therapy books, psychology, women's studies, fiction and art magazines.  Kept all my art books.   That ended up being about 25 boxes to the Salvation Army.


Papers were a real drag.  I got rid of about 10 boxes of papers


And that's the way it is/was


Thursday, September 3, 2020

Ever Onward the midst of everything, 

I've been tidying and/or escaping by reading novels.  


~ rare needlework instruction book, Dublin 1833 with samples of sewing, embroidery, knitting and miniature clothing ~


But I did finish going through all my clothes (which included tops, skirts, pants, dresses, jackets, coats, scarves, hats, gloves, socks, undies, pjs, shoes, boots and bags).  Oh my.



~ Guerra de la Paz ~


Let me give you the stats.  

I got rid of 32 big garbage bags (to Goodwill). It me took about 3 weeks to go through all the clothes, and then reorganize what I kept and put it in place.


I'll break it down by category: 


4 bags of tops to go, 4 big piles to stay, took 2 days  

3 bags of dresses/skirts to go, 3 big piles to stay, took 2 days 

6 bags of pants to go, 3 big piles to stay, took 1 days

3 bags of jackets/coats, 4 big piles to stay, took 2 days 

0 bags of hats/gloves/scarves to go, all stayed, took 1 day 

4 bags of socks/undies/pjs to go, 3 piles to stay, took 2 days 

8 bags of shoes/boots, ? to stay (just enough to fit in my available  space!), took 6 days 

4 bags of purses/totes, ? to stay (I stopped counting the keepers), took 2 days                                               



Then I went on to books...

                                            ...but that's another story.


Saturday, August 15, 2020

Quarantining and KonMari-ing


The perfect match.



Yes, I was feeling swallowed up by all my things after being sheltered-in-place for the last 5 (or was it 6?) months now.  

Especially by my hand-made clothes and that unrelenting fabric stash.  Oh, my.

 So, after reading Marie Kondo's Spark Joy and starting with her first step of tidying,
I pulled out all my clothes in one place...

No, I didn't make an art installation out of it (darn!), it was more like a mountain overflowing the bed.  I did, however, manage it somewhat by excavating one sub-category of clothes at a time.  That would be "tops."  I did want to be able to sleep on the bed every night after all.  And I have a lot of clothes. 

No, I don't have any pictures of the process.  I was too involved in it.  You're supposed to gather all the clothes from wherever they might be in the house.  (Excluding those of my spouse.  He has the bare minimum anyway.)  
I did include my mother's stuff that had been left untouched in the so-called guest room since she passed away 6 years ago.  And the enclosed back porch off my sewing room which contained all the clothes I was going to recycled.  aiyiyi.  You can't imagine.
 I actually ended up trying on everything to see if I liked it, if it fit, if I would wear it, and most importantly if it "sparked joy."  If it did, it went into another pile in the adjoining room for saved "tops."  The discarded items went into a black garbage bag for Goodwill.  My husband put them in the car right away so I wouldn't be tempted to go through them again.  They went to Goodwill at regular intervals.

I kept track of how many bags went out and how many piles stayed in.  Tops: 4 out, 4 in.  Of the 4 to keep: 2 summer, 1 winter & 1 to mend.  The whole process for tops took 2 days.
Stay tuned for the next update.

p.s.  I started tidying on Wednesday, July 8, 2020!

Monday, August 3, 2020

Outfitting for a Plague:


                                                               ~ from Kati Koos Shop, Modesto, California

And my first outing during the Plague...

                                                                                                            ~ thanks to Elaine for the photo

...with my True Love, no less.

                    Alas, I didn't have the recommended ensemble at my disposal.

*The protective suit of the Plague Doctor consisted of a light, waxed fabric overcoat, a mask with glass eye openings and a beak shaped nose, typically stuffed with herbs, straw, and spices. Plague doctors would also commonly carry a cane to examine and direct patients without the need to make direct contact with them.  Due to the primitive understanding of disease at the time, it was believed this suit would sufficiently protect the doctor from miasma while tending to patients.  (wikipedia)