My Inner Minimalist is Being Crushed by the Clutter in My Mind

God. Even the title of this blog post is too long,  too wordy and too much. I wish I could be a streamlined person who leaves a small footprint and has an uncluttered spirit. Alas, I’m not sure that was ever in the cards for me.

As I’ve said probably enough times to make you unsubscribe from this blog, being an addict through and through I like more of everything. More sex, more, booze, more drugs, more reality television, more donuts, more shopping and so on. Yet less is now something I stride for. Raymond Carver (my personal hero/idol when it comes to writing), is seen as one of modern fiction’s great minimalists. So if it’s good enough for Carver it’s good enough for me, right? Although like me Carver was an alcoholic and some say he was pushed into his minimal style by legendary editor Gordon Lish. Nevertheless, I believe in the power of simplicity and having a less crowded life. The husband and I are good about not keeping a lot of stuff around the house and we try to use what we have.  I recylce and walk almost everywhere. Our walls aren’t cluttered and we try to live tchotchke-free.

Still, it’s my brain that usually overproduces and over-consumes.  The truth is even though I think I can be some dime store version of  Carver, I’m really more akin to Veruca Salt. “Don’t care how! I want it now!” I took a creative writing workshop once where we all had to read out loud and then receive feedback from SL Stebel, a renowned creative writing professor from USC. After laughing at the jokes in my story, he nodded and said, “Wow. That’s a lot of stuff there. It’s nearly too much. You have enough for four books there.” He was right of course. I was overdoing it as usual. Sigh.

Aiming to be more minimal and thoughtful is a good thing for me whereas wanting more now is usually a flashing warning sign that I have to get my spiritual life in check.  But I’m also realistic. I know that I can appreciate the sparse beauty of an Agnes Martin painting just as much as I can appreciate a trip to the Liberace Museum followed by all you can eat ribs.

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3 thoughts on “My Inner Minimalist is Being Crushed by the Clutter in My Mind

    • Me too. Carver has always moved me in profound ways. When I got sober in 09 I was taking a creative writing class and we read “Cathedral”. I hadn’t read it in years and it blew me away. Next to the story was a brief bio of Carver, he is quoted as saying that among all of his success the biggest was kicking alcohol and getting sober through AA. Reading that rocked my world and solidified I was on the right path.

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