Viking ways

IMG_5834 (1280x853)This is how I felt today, crowded. By things I should do, by things I would have loved to be doing, by things I have to do, by things I never will come around to do. In short, from where I stand the only calm person to be seen is the viking surveying his town, sword in hand. I have to admit, if a slashing, sword-swinging bout of action could clear my lists, I would do it. As you can see, I am not in a position to do that. I took the picture while wheeling my heavy laden bike through the market of my town Trondheim, the only way to get going was by carefully weaving my way, stopping, waiting, smiling, not hurrying. I had one item to buy at the market, my summer breakfast favorite, honey cake, and kept going.

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But wait, I had the best clutter-clearing, worry-killing, task-quitting weapon at my side. Invisible to you, I was walking with a dear, wise and kind friend, Anita. We were heading home after coffee in town. Slowly we worked and talked, shared and sorted through big and small. Halfway we stopped for another coffee with waffles, kept talking, kept laughing, and suddenly we were home. I was ready to tackle my crowd.

IMG_5842 (1280x853)Then I saw it, the crowd was not an illusion. I had tried to make lists like some of my friends do, I even had bought a sweet blue notebook for it. They just add everything as they think of it, and handle it when they get to it, one item at the time. It did not work for me at all, the tasks felt like a swarm of bees or a crowd of vendors crying for my attention.

IMG_5841 (1280x853)I had to sort, not only by talking and sharing. I still and forever is the indexy type. Admitting for the long lists, I found four bigger index cards, still honouring my thought that what I do should be the four cornerstones of my life. Still knowing  the fact that more than that is simply too much. I sorted my tasks, divided them on the cards and are on my way to conquer them. Grouped like that I see what I do as part of a bigger picture and an ongoing life, not as irritating tasks that keep me from living.

No viking way of getting it done, no way to conquer and subdue for ever. As in life, if its is worth doing, keep at it. If not, let it go! And by all means, have some waffles with a friend while deciding! By the way, I did not find my cake, so instead I’ll find my grandmothers recipe book and make one myself, even if it is not on any card.

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Messy neatpins

Beautiful order

Beautiful order

We stayed with some friends this week. As they left early for work we made our own breakfast, and I was impressed by the total order of her kitchen. I had to comment on that later in the evening. Oh, she said, I just keep it that way, my grandmother organized it when we moved in. That was ten years ago.

Very well ordered, but for whom?

Very well ordered, but for whom?

As for me? I de-clutter and organize several times a year, but as soon a I start living in the neat, clean space, life takes over. I talked this over with another dear friend some days ago. Her home is as organized as mine, everything has its place, and most of the time that’s  where you’ll find it. To me order has it’s own beauty. So why do we strive to stay organized? Because the well-ordered universe is not our natural habitat.

well ordered, but not living

well ordered, but not living

And we both know that keeping organized is our survival tool to be able to do all the thing we want to do, or have to do. We both are impulsive, creative, active, imaginative…and at least for me, messy. Not when doing ordinary things like cooking or cleaning, but say gardening…..I’ll start in a corner. I find a plant that does not thrive, I find a new spot, I discover a rose that should have been cut back, I trim that rose and start the compost cutter, I spot some twigs that are too big and go to the landfill with those, or saw them into logs, then I see that the wood shed should have been cleared….

Where to start?

Where to start?

Hopefully I put the poor plant in the ground before I started on the roses, life is a messy business! Not to talk about painting, quilting or sewing. Pulling everything out, looking at the colours, feeling the material, gets me going, while nothing stops me as having to look for the handy tool or the scrap that would make this project perfect. Then again,  if I really am stuck, the best strategy is to clear up, sort out, to take stock. To me, that is true about everything, not only visible projects.

To untangle life enough to be aware of the single rose

To untangle life enough to be aware of the single rose

Actually, even more so if I do not know where to go next. I think life’s messes are like balls of wool, if they are entangled it makes things worse to pull at one thread even if it is the right one. Stop, think, tweak and pull softly, perhaps even cut a knot. And then I will be knitting again, until the next knot. At least I will know where my yarn is, and if need be where my scissors are, hopefully.