Mess Is Robust, with Resonance!

23 12 2006

A new book promises to free me and our clever, creative, curious children from our overbearing anti-clutter culture, just in time to elude the clutches of January as national Get Organized Month.

(One shudders to think how much more Big School can stand to systemize! Is even more corporate power to tidy up both school and home really healthy for children and families? Rowdy recess games are long gone, purses and cupcakes are being banned as unacceptably untidy, long lists of clothing, toys and ingestible substances including candy  have been purged, along with  books judged too stimulating and therefore disorderly for school shelves. )

So I tend to welcome counterpoint now and then, toward uncontrolled, untidy thought, word and deed. Here’s the liberating Message of Mess the authors offer: my mess tells a story. MY story!

“Mess is robust and adaptable. . . as opposed to brittle, like a parent’s rigid schedule that doesn’t allow for a small child’s wool-gathering or balkiness. Mess is complete, in that it embraces all sorts of random elements. Mess tells a story: you can learn a lot about people from their detritus, whereas neat — well, neat is a closed book. Neat has no narrative and no personality (as any cover of Real Simple magazine will demonstrate). Mess is also natural, as Mr. Freedman and Mr. Abrahamson point out, and a real time-saver.

Indeed, the most valuable dividend of living with mess may be time.”

My thinking like our home may be riotously messy, but that means potent power of story everywhere. For example, here’s a stray thought I piled in my tyranny of time stack:

Daylight Saving Time gives us the opportunity to enjoy sunny summer evenings . . .

Gift that may be, but its giver is NOT the same order-crazed linear management systems that crowded out everybody’s lazy time in the sun in the first place!

Something else in the same pile is this unself-consciously stupid story:
“A new law to extend DST to the first Sunday in November will take effect in 2007 . . . For decades, candy manufacturers lobbied for a Daylight Saving Time extension to Halloween, as many of the young trick-or-treaters gathering candy are not allowed out after dark, and thus an added hour of light means a big holiday treat — FOR THE CANDY INDUSTRY (emphasis added).”



One response

1 02 2009
Is R-E-S-P-E-C-T in Dress or Success? « Cocking A Snook!

[…] Mess is robust, with resonance! […]

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