Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Swedish Death Cleaning and More

It's your road, and yours alone. Others my walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you. - Rumi

A few months ago, I read an article about Swedish death cleaning, dostadning. Move over Marie Kondo! I do think this will be the next big thing. Margarta Manusso, the author of "The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning" will not be available in the U.S. until January, but it has already had a huge impact on my life. Margareta suggests that people focus on simplifying their lives beginning at 65 until you are living with just a few items upon your death thus freeing your children. I am not 65, but I think the time is now for me. My friend Barbara has also been caught up in getting rid of things that no longer are useful or bring joy. 

Margareta feels we should not leave our children to deal with our stuff. My dad made that promise after dealing his guardian's estate. Alas, he did not and I spent hours shredding years and years of old, really old bills. For me, getting rid of things has been a process that has been occurring for years. As an artist, I think it is even tougher, especially now that I am taking things my mom and dad saved and turning it into art. However, I do want to live more simply. I want to have as much joy as I can and so I know this is a process that has a destination.

I am also reading "The Light of the World: a memoir" by Elizabeth Alexander. It is beautifully written prose about the unexpected death of her husband. It is making me cry--a lot. And yet, it is also helping move beyond my losses. She pays her husband's cell phone bill for 18 months because she does not want to loose the text messages. I have not deleted dead friends numbers from my phone even though many are disconnected. And as I write all of this, I realize I am ready to move on.

I want to thank the Northwest Suburban Quilters Guild. They are one of the most caring, wonderful group of quilters I have ever encountered. They helped me renew my love of teaching. I cannot wait to see what the group creates. You have my deepest gratitude.

I want to close with my thoughts on the term one-size-fits-all when it comes to life, art. It plants the idea of "one way-ness," when for most things in life there are many, many ways to achieve, measure and value the things we do. My way might be a good fit for some people, but how can just one size really be considered a viable for all? Your thoughts?

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