Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Conducting the Orchestra of Collections

Last Wednesday, when it was (past) time to write my blog post, I was struggling to come up with a topic. So, I used a trick Sarah Reinhard taught me, and looked around the room for inspiration. My eyes lit on some decor-turned-clutter and a post was born.

And today, a week later, the post has stuck with me. True to my word, I've been working on seeing things with new eyes -- zooming in on piles and out-of-place items instead of wearing blinders and/or  allowing them to blend into the landscape. I'm walking through my house, conducting a "how long has that been there?" search.

I won't tell you how many things I've found. And I'm certain it's like peeling an onion. The more I find and remove/put away/get rid of, the more that will emerge.

My original goal was to seek and destroy one of these collections each day. That goal proved a little lofty. As it turns out, putting things away properly (not just cramming and jamming or putting it "somewhere") takes more than a few minutes.

But I am making progress.
The "I need to see it" organizational style has an unfortunate tendency to crescendo. One or two things left out as memory joggers whisper -- a gentle, soft pianissimo. A few more things join them, creating a mezzo forte to-do list. But when it's a whole orchestra of visual memory joggers, it's a cacophony of sound, sometimes fortissimo, sometimes not, but always there.
And in this case, the best way to turn down the volume, is to control the instrumentation. A string quartet of reminders? Lovely. A big brass band? Not so much. That's when emptying the orchestra pit strategically becomes a must.

So I will continue to take charge of the instrumentation and the arrangement of my "collections" because, after all, even the most beautiful musical compositions benefit from a strategically placed rest.

Side "note": As I was looking for visuals to add to this blog, I came across a site called Ali Spagnola's Free Paintings. I don't know who Ali is, but I loved what I saw. If you have a minute, check out her site. Though I've obviously gone for a theme here, she's got lots more than music-related paintings. 

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