Messiness and Ambiguity

Categories: Noticing

Bouquet on messy tableMaybe, like me, you prefer a clean and orderly house or workspace.  Maybe, especially when you have something important or unpleasant to do, you will clean your closet instead, sort your spice rack, match all your socks. There is probably somebody, somewhere who’s researched the relationship between cleanliness and genius or brilliance and clutter, deeper than Feng Shui and more resonant than any trip to the Container Store could remedy.


I’m messing around with messiness these days, leaving a dish or two in the sink, my mail unsorted for a few days, the dry cleaning late to the cleaners. I’m not lazy or reluctant, I’m experimenting with letting go of what might have passed for perfection in the past. Instead, today I ate my lunch slowly, purposefully. I sat in the garden listening to Bach and the neighbor’s dog barking, I sorted my laundry into piles, then left them there. Oh, I love a good list, and especially the crossing off that means I’m getting things done, making progress toward something important. But sometimes I know that there’s ambiguity to deal with, and no amount of chores done will make that neat. Later, I’m going to pick a bouquet, rather than buy one from the market. Then I’ll sit down to write, to work, to figure out what’s next.










Libby Wagner
Author: Libby Wagner

Libby makes her home in a lovely West Seattle neighborhood in a house with turquoise walls and an amazing view of the Puget sound and Olympic mountains. A former Air Force “brat”, she continues to bounce from one corner of the world to the other, working with Fortune 500 clients, hopeful artists and authors, and aspiring entrepreneurs. She has a Master’s in Fine Arts and Poetry from Eastern Washington University where she also began working in the Writers in the Prison program.