Spring Cleaning: Theory and Reality

[blue rare]

In theory, as an abstract concept, I am very much drawn to the idea of spring cleaning.  The springtime, after all, should be a time of renewal.  Tabula rasa.  A time to make a fresh start by purging the accumulated clutter of the past year from our lives.

And, God knows, my home could use it right now.  The windows need washing, the floors need sweeping and polishing, the wallpaper is peeling, and the paint is chipping.  There are areas of my abode that are so covered in dust they are beginning to resemble a Fremen dwelling from the planet Arrakis.  Having been left to their own devices for so many generations, the spiders in my basement have begun surreptitiously refining their web-spinning techniques, creating ever more elaborate designs, including mandalas, still lifes, and some quite impressive landscapes.

Clearly, then, NOW is the time to grab a mop, a vacuum cleaner, a broom, and several gallons of industrial strength solvents, and get to work.  No more dithering about, no more postponements, no more procrastinations.  Less talk, more action.  At the very least, I could whip the place into good enough shape so that it won’t be quite so humiliating to hire a professional cleaning service.

Except, well, except it’s quite difficult to choose exactly the right, the most advantageous, the most opportune time to begin, isn’t it?

It seems to me that picking the perfect day to set aside for this arduous task is more than half the battle.  For example, if it’s a glorious spring day, such as the one we’re having as I’m sitting on a park bench writing this article, it’s only natural that one would want to be outside, interpreting clouds, watching wild geese fly overhead, enjoying the feeling of sunshine on pallid skin.  Conversely, cold, inclement days at this time of year are truly meant to be spent indoors beside the gas fireplace, playing chess in the nude atop a faux polar bear rug (either with or without a partner), sipping brandy and smoking Cuban cigars whilst listening to Brad Mehldau’s recordings of jazz improvisations based upon Bach’s inventions.

Then, of course, there are many other valid and reasonable reasons why setting aside a day for the tedious job of sweeping and scouring is not feasible just yet.  Distractions, naturally, get in the way.  There are poems to be written, recipe books to be leafed through, camping trips to be planned, chocolates to be eaten, seasonal playlists to be curated, friends to be met, coffee shops to be patronized, movie theatre matinees to be attended.  Also, as I write this, the full solar eclipse is mere days away, so there’s a certain amount of excitement about that.  Very difficult, just now, to focus on the mundane.

All-in-all, I am beginning to think that this may not the best, the most propitious, time to begin some sort of assiduous, time consuming, soul sucking cleaning project.  Perhaps as early as tomorrow, or the week after that, I will knock back half-a-dozen shots of espresso and be divinely inspired to wave about a feather duster for a bit.  Until then, I say, let the clutter rest in peace, and let the spiders rejoice in the artistic accomplishments of their lovely and miraculous arachnid Renaissance.