Thursday, September 30, 2010

Progressive Bookshelf? -OR- Myths and Their Meanings

As I surveyed my bunker thinking that I really should do a bit of serious community organizing, it struck me. My "office" truly reflects me and what I do. Hitchcock frighteningly so.

It is a shrine to the futility of organization. From the "Save the Spindle" bumper sticker to the spindles of CDs awaiting sorting to the retained checkstub from my last service on jury duty, to the small ceramic ice cream bar I've glued back together, to the current stack of printed materials for ingestion/digestion, to the half-full tub of broken/disfunctional/needing adjustment stuff from various sources, to the office calendar that didn't transit from Aug/Sept, but will now turn to October...

And then there is the "bookshelf", Strunk & White, Robert's RoO, Volkswagen Transporters 1961-1979, Subaru 1600 & 1800, 838 Ways to Amuse a Child, various quotations volumes, Webster's, The Walls Around Us... my quick compendium of thinking/thinkers Parkinson's Law, Grieder, Ringer,Goodman,Brains Benton...
Yertle the Turtle and of course, my 50 year old copy of "Myths and Their Meanings".

There are a few other ersatz tomes, volumes read that serve no function anymore but to lend symmetry. Inquiry and Essays, English Grammar and Composition, Dr. Rutger's 1940 edition "How to Attain and Practice the Ideal Sex Life", Kahlil Gibran, Joyce: Selected Letters, Joy of Lex. Makes some sort of statement eh?

It's a mess. I confess.

Then I look up and see the plaque-ish array. The "Different Drummer" Thoreau quote my mother lovingly decoupaged for me, the Subaru BRAT sign my son carved for me and my framed "Driftglass" autograph, bookended by the angelic pastel of me back in 1967
from the pier at OOB, ME and the Whit's End sign from Kalamazoo.

No fewer than a dozen purposeful "organizers". Cubbies, nooks, crannies, files, sorters and drawers. Evolved over time, assimilated, adapted and incorporated.

Oh yeah, and then there is "the desk". Somewhere beneath visible sits a 1960's optician's dispensing station that has taken on a life of its own. A mish-mash of barnacles, adaptations, add-ons and adornments.

After 20+ years of tweakings, it stands as my statement of function over form. My space has grown and evolved all around me. Everywhere I look it says, "And he's not done yet!".

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