I like cleaning my apartment.
It’s a return to the past in the form of old letters, projects, (bills,) music, magazines, newspapers, and other memorabilia that managed to find a flat surface instead of a filing cabinet. Some of these finds are treasures; others only find the trash. There’s a fondness for those things that I enjoyed or that made me proud, and it’s only partially mitigated by the discovery of forgotten letters or unfinished projects that have passed their moments.
But that spurs the present; it energizes me keep on sorting through the scattered elements of my carved out little corner of the world. It’s a taking stock. A reevaluation of where I am, of what I’ve done and left undone—of what I’m in the middle of.
But what is most invigorating is the reorganization and restructuring of it all—and the way that that redefines the future. There are more books and more CDs and less space to hold them. There is a fresh list of priorities, but the same house to support it. And so the bookshelves and CD racks shift around in the open spaces. My girlfriend and I stack this here; we clear that out there. The couch is repositioned, the speakers relocated, new music alphabetized, and new books filed on improvised shelves. What is meaningful is remembered; what is no longer meaningful is purged, and this physical reorganization of the space reflects and reinforces a new mental vision of a future that is, like the apartment, free to be defined in any way that we choose.