Friday, August 16, 2002

Words are cheap. I've been browsing other blogs recently, and there is a huge volume of interesting verbiage out there. I even found myself blasé about books, browsing last night at Portland's reader's mecca, Powell's. I think I have developed an allergy to blurbs -- if I find it described in two excitable sentences, it doesn't sound worth reading.

Of course, my time is expensive. I have unfinished projects and unread books to keep me busy for weeks if not years. I have friends to write and family to visit, cats to feed and entertain, and all the daily business of maintaining health, home, and my primary relationship: with my husband, Doug.

Today's blog is under siege from the kitten in my lap. I'm visiting Doug's parents, and they have a 12 week kitten named Dandy Lion. She crawled in my arms and purred, effectively interrupting my typing. Now she's on my lap. I've just made my fourth grab to keep her from rolling off. She plays and cleans herself all oblivious to rolling her center of gravity over the edge. Couldn't let her fall -- that just wouldn't be right.

Well, it's always about choices, isn't it? We live in times rich in possible words, rich in activities. I'm glad you're reading me. And I hope you are awake as you make the choice to do so.

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

I've been engaged in the entertainment today of making my living room astonishingly clean. I picked up the pieces of the stereo and dusted underneath them. I rubbed the spots on the dining chairs with White Wizard until they disappeared. I removed all the clutter, and sprayed and wiped away the black line where the cats scratch their cheeks against the corner of the wall. I ventured into the fridge and cleaned the door, but I only noted that a more thorough cleaning later might be a good idea.

There are, in the world, truly excellent housekeepers. They clean up messes as soon as they occur, and dust and wipe and vacuum on a schedule to catch anything that slips past their eagle eyes for immaculacy. They wash pots and knives as they go when cooking, hand rinse their underwear daily, and twice a year switch out their seasonal wardrobes. I am not one of these people.

I am more apt to clean when something gets dirty enough to bother me and I have the time. Excellent housekeepers reap the reward of a continously lovely and clean home -- I settle in with a house that slowly declines to fall below my comfort threshhold, and then leaps for a few glorious hours into radiant, company-worthy shine before beginning another decline. Perhaps someday the pleasure of bright surfaces and visual simplicity will convince me to move more into the immediate action style of housekeeping. Meanwhile, I am comfortable. I seldom feel encroached by object chaos and never at risk from illness via squalor. The house remains good enough to suit me.

In fact, I may not be comfortable in conditions of excessive neatness. I have been in a few homes where I felt that to sit down was an imposition, to pose a book, a transgression. I had a feeling of restriction more severe than entering other homes where dirt crusted the sinks and dog hair coated the couch. In the latter homes I certainly did not want to eat or drink -- but I still felt good about myself. An untouchable home leaves me feeling an unwanted intruder, small, and inadequate.