Tidying. The arrangement of things just so. Placing the world around you in an orderly manner, making things easier to find and making everyday actions more efficient. This is what you do in Spring, or before the arrival of family - anxious to prepare yourself for the new year and get rid of the detritus from the past, or concerned that others may think you live in squalor (even if you do?).
Or there is what I do. Moving things out of the way, hiding the higgledy-piggledy, the random, and the daily confusion of things and impulses that make up my daily life. These are the side tracks, the digressions, the meandering thoughts, and the half begun chores. This is the residue I stick in the loft, hide in the garage, or under the stairs; my collection of ghosts.
And why this approach? Well I guess a proper tidy requires thought, planning and execution; a ruthless approach to the end result, to the vision of living a different and a better way. I have no such faith in the discipline of life, or of myself, and so I apply the approach of the Tazmanian devil, a whirlwind of chaos, and attack the house in the final hours, cleaning, stuffing, propping and most importantly quarantining a room - "Don't go in there! Oh the humanity!"
Of course this is the room where the ghosts live, where they sip bourbon, play poker and mutter of the things they miss downstairs where 'They' live: those who bought and discarded them, those who have forgotten what it is was once done for them, what is owed. Occasionally the anger is too much and there is a crash - a book has fallen, a box precariously balanced for months or years has finally given up. I go to check, ah, it was a loose screw, it was the cat, or a wobbly floorboard. But standing amongst the things, the hidden, the trash, I am struck by a memory, a remembrance and something is liberated, is reclaimed, and the line of the tidy is broken with a random thing.
The year begins to curl it's fingers once again.