Marie Kondo-ing

Last night at home, after gnashing my teeth at the memories of one thing and another, at one person and another, I found myself drawn to sorting, rearranging, folding —what the cool kids call Marie Kondo-ing— all my clothes from my closet, coat tree and dresser. I felt the initial pain of seeing all of my clean laundry piled on the bed. (I call my clothes “laundry” when I need to let some go—that way I don’t get too attached). Then came the pain of knowing there are neighbors who could use some fresh duds, but the community thrift store hasn’t opened yet. Then came the small griefs buried in the pile. How could I say goodbye to a deep olive green sweater-friend with Celtic gold braid at the yoke, though it has shrunk through the years from tunic to waist length, from long-sleeve to 3/4-sleeve? After a while, I felt the strange freedom of doing something without thinking. I had time off mentally, so I started thinking. I know, right? Give the brain a break. But here’s what came to mind: “All my relatives.” That’s the beautiful Lakota way of saying that everything and everyone on earth is my relative. From someone I cannot stand to my dearest friend, from eggs nestling under cormorants on a rock to these clothes that have served me well for months and years. I thanked them all, as the graceful Buddhist teacher Marie Kondo has taught me. And like St Francis renouncing his privileged life, stripping down to nothing in the city square of Assisi, but less visibly, I let them all go.
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