2009.12.03 07:00 - Kindness and clutter

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Storm Nordwind. The comments are by Storm Nordwind who wore a tag over his head this morning saying "minus 14°C in snow".

    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Storm :)...nice tag
    Eliza Madrigal: brrr
    Storm Nordwind: Hi Eliza!
    Storm Nordwind: Nice henna :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Thank you :)
    Eliza Madrigal: SL is a little choppy today... or is that just me
    Storm Nordwind: Perhaps you need more coffee. I feel choppy until I have mine
    Eliza Madrigal: I was moving in strobe light time...
    Eliza Madrigal: hah, yes that's probably it :)
    Storm Nordwind: It could be you have not enough free memory available
    Storm Nordwind: Or it could be your net connection
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, you know my son did reinstall "Spore" a few days ago ...
    Storm Nordwind: Time to run a spyware checker! And to defragment the disc :)
    The topic becomes living with others people's "stuff". Amazing how much there is in such a prosaic topic!

    Eliza Madrigal: sigh, yes... well, anyway, not to clutter the log with tech issues. Have a topic in mind today?
    Storm Nordwind: I hadn't yet. I just saw Lia's message about covering for an otherwise unattended session and came in
    Storm Nordwind: You are most welcome to start one!
    Eliza Madrigal: :) thanks
    Eliza Madrigal: Hm. Well let's see... You are obviously a very visual person, and thoughtful about spaces/how one feels moving through them.. stuff, etc....
    Eliza Madrigal: Right now I am amidst decluttering and purging at home...
    Eliza Madrigal: A huge amount of energy seems taken by 'stuff'...
    Eliza Madrigal: even if it is just sitting there
    Storm Nordwind nods sympathetically
    Eliza Madrigal: I sometimes find it difficult to let others have their stuff...
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Storm Nordwind: Yes it's much easier when it is only your own
    Storm Nordwind: You can give it away then!
    Eliza Madrigal: Yes, exactly!
    Storm Nordwind: Some people only work well with others if there are clear boundaries
    Eliza Madrigal: But we all have to live with other people.. even if not the same house, well then the same street, etc.
    Eliza Madrigal nods... yes. Hm. clear boundaries
    Storm Nordwind: We live in a country where naturally helping others has been replaced by grand gestures
    Eliza Madrigal: say more?
    Storm Nordwind: Well, I might observe that the normal openhearted giving and cooperating with others is less part of the culture in some countries than others, and this can be echoed in personal attitudes, including at home.
    Eliza Madrigal: Oh, yes, I see. Not having lived in another country I can only observe household to household in the one...
    Storm Nordwind: Sure!
    Eliza Madrigal: and even in that there is a wide range of approach.
    Storm Nordwind: Yes indeed...
    Storm Nordwind: ...and by grand gesture I see that big charitable donations (with the donor's name attached) has replaced the normal day-to-day caring I was used to. In a way the boundaries are more distinct, but at home it can be a less happy experience!
    Eliza Madrigal: OOoh yes, certainly with charity. This time of year one sees that especially... that somehow on holidays there is a bell that rings "start giving" and then goes quiet....
    Storm Nordwind chuckles
    Eliza Madrigal: rather than there being a continuity
    Storm Nordwind: Does that anything to do with the tax laws here? ;)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Well of course
    Eliza Madrigal: It also has to do with there being such a big deal made of things perhaps...
    Eliza Madrigal: that it takes so much energy and hoopla to work people up to the work of it...
    Eliza Madrigal: hah
    Eliza Madrigal: the "giving" holidays I mean :)
    Storm Nordwind: things = more 'stuff' = more potential clutter :)
    Eliza Madrigal: YES
    Eliza Madrigal: Hm, and yet one feels the best thing to do is to join a little...
    Storm Nordwind: It's convenient to buy things as tokens of caring. I would rather someone DO something for me if they really want to. The time and care spent means rather more to me personally.
    Eliza Madrigal nods, yes I'm more that sort, too
    Storm Nordwind: Hint for a busy mother. "As a Christmas present this year, instead of buying me more stuff, please promise to keep your own stuff tidy for three weeks." :)
    Eliza Madrigal: haha, that's perfect Storm :)
    Eliza Madrigal: I'm nearly ready to post a sign "Fair Warning: things left wating for others will be dealt with as others wish."
    Storm Nordwind: I like it!
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Storm Nordwind: I took a big black trash bag and swept all one of my children's stuff into once. I didn't bin it, but they had to sort through lots of unpleasant stuff in the bag to recover their things. And it worked... for a while!
    Eliza Madrigal: a while?
    Storm Nordwind: a month or two = major achievement
    Eliza Madrigal: hehe, yes, that would be an achievement here too
    Storm Nordwind: I tried doubling pocket money (US: allowance) for tidy rooms. It worked for three of the four children, but not the fourth!
    Eliza Madrigal: I think I've become a bit deferential because others find my ideas extreme... but too many compromises isn't helpful
    Eliza Madrigal: Money works for one of mine :)
    Eliza Madrigal: But he is the neatest naturally!
    Eliza Madrigal: So funny... this practical topic touches so many other layers
    Storm Nordwind: Haha yes!
    Storm Nordwind: But beware: the untidy desk may be a sign or an untidy mind, and a tidy room the sign of a tidy mind. But what about the empty desk? ;)
    Eliza Madrigal: hahahaha
    Storm Nordwind recalls the absurd 'clean desk' policy at a place he used to work
    Eliza Madrigal: yikes
    Eliza Madrigal: desks are meant to go through cycles ... if too clear then need another
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Storm Nordwind smiles
    Eliza Madrigal: that's how junk drawers are born I think, too
    Storm Nordwind: I think it all just comes down to 'caring': caring for the others that you live with. Sure there are some people who are just incapable, no matter how well meaning they are (and you have to be aware of that), but in general...
    Eliza Madrigal nods... yes, indeed. And sometimes stepping back and taking a breath
    Eliza Madrigal: Which this has been, thank you :)
    Storm Nordwind smiles broadly
    Storm Nordwind: It has taken me decades (and four marriages) before I was able to completely step back out of the "this is my area" and trying to stamp out a personal identity on a communal space before I was able to put the needs of others completely first and rejoice in that!
    Eliza Madrigal: Oh, so I have time and marriages to go then
    Eliza Madrigal: hehhhee
    Eliza Madrigal: the needs/wants thing is prob. crucial to the balance too...
    Eliza Madrigal: and clear seeing
    Storm Nordwind: Sure. People think that compassion is something they use only when presented with charitable causes, but it can be practised in the home, every day, with astonishing effect. :)
    Eliza Madrigal smiles... yes, generosity in the smallest acts ..
    Storm Nordwind: Kindness is underrated, and under exemplified... and one of the most powerful forces in the world :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hm. I was reading Rumi the other day... about our mind having two advisors... one generous and one stingy....
    Storm Nordwind: Ah yes, i recall that one
    Eliza Madrigal: how many things can potentially get in the way of our listening to the generous advisor.. . love that...
    Eliza Madrigal: we have hundreds of little crossroads thoughout our ordinary day perhaps
    Eliza Madrigal: I'd better get back to the work now that you've stirred me to be kind and generous...heh
    Storm Nordwind: :) Wonderful to talk with you!
    Eliza Madrigal: Thanks so much Storm!! See you soon
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