On Adrienne Rich and Spring Cleaning

 “When a woman tells the truth she is creating the possibility for more truth around her.” Adrienne Rich

I just got the news that poet, Adrienne Rich, passed away Tuesday. I am too tired to work up the appropriate amount of outrage that I checked three news outlets before finding the information about her death.  Does it signal the end of days that the comings and goings of Pauly from Jersey Shore merit a headline when the death of a great American poet doesn’t?

I take it back, I have just enough fumes in my tank left for some outrage about that.

It’s possible I am just worked up because my project to embrace spring cleaning is, thus far, an epic failure.  Failure, like Bear Stearns-sized failure.  I spent actual time and actual energy trying to decide which I hated more: Excel spreadsheets or spring cleaning.  My answer is both.

The problem with spring cleaning is that I feel the inexorable tug to declutter and fling open my windows and rid myself of my detritus so we can launch into a new season lighter and brighter and with only 10 black tee-shirts and not 17, but I can’t seem to execute.  I did clean the condiment shelf in the fridge the other day, which means I moved the ketchup next to the Bar-B-Que sauce, and threw away Jeff’s nasty peanut butter (Peter Pan– gag, right? I married a man who likes Peter Pan peanut butter!) all the name of cleanliness.  But sorting through the linen closet (which is really just a bunch of towels buried under stacks of my clothes) and the guest room closet (which is the satiny wad of my wedding dress and my clandestine purchases from any number of discount retailers) and the upstairs closet (which is home to my former business casual outfits in case anyone ever hires me again)– all that is too much.  I can’t seem to tackle the areas that need it the most.

I believe in the spiritual benefits of cleaning and positioning myself for a fresh start.   I am sure if I would shut down the computer right now and at least put my wool clothes away for the summer I would probably sleep better, have better posture, better sex, and better hair for the next few weeks.  Shouldn’t that propel me to get out a storage box and start packing? If not for the sex, at least for the hair?  And good posture is nothing to sneeze at.

But, I know right now, I am going to finish this post, re-read it a few times, check Facebook and my email and then turn out the lights– only a few feet away from my closet and a spiritual transition, but it might as well be a mile.

And that is the truth.

Rest in peace, Adrienne Rich.


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