Monday, April 12, 2010

Spring Cleaning

It isn't always like this, but I find myself with a bit of margin here after Easter. Having sung Quasimodo Sunday, the Octave of Easter, we get this coming Sunday off before galloping on to our final Sunday of the season, June 6. Repertoire is all picked, and I'm caught up on my post-Easter service planning.

While the choir charges on, I have one more Sunday away myself. It is the actual end of a marathon season that began the day after Christmas. With one thing and another, I have a stretch of over a month of evening services that have not required my music planning. And the sun is shining, and I am trying to keep from day-dreaming about the mulch I'll be putting on the gardens over the next few evenings and early mornings.

And here in the the office, this (perhaps naively presumed) "down time" is taking the shape of a sort of spring cleaning. It is not escapist ... really, it isn't. It is a function of organizing and harnessing my resources for a pretty focused push that will drive me through the rest of spring and all of summer.

It began today by spending an hour re-organizing my bookshelves. As a fairly bookish person, this is no insignificant task. I began to realize that I knew I had certain books that I could not find. And the categories were becoming - well, soft. And I had to admit, finally, that there are some books here that I (a) won't read; or (b) won't re-read. My wife will laugh to see how few I have culled, but it is a start, and you book-lovers will understand how painful a start it is! (Karen is also a book-lover, so yes, she does understand.) Duplicates? Gone. Dated issues? Gone. Books inscribed 20 years ago by people from a previous life, with no ongoing relationship or reading value? Ouch, these too are gone. With an  hour's work, I now stand a fairly good chance of finding what I'm after in two or three categories. I don't know how many more hours I can take to do this, but if any are half as productive as today's they will be well spent indeed.

As I finished, I heard a friend's voice in the office. He came in to chat, and of course asked "what have you been doing today?" My first response: "rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic." It's an old metaphor, and a powerful one. It's only sort of apt today. But it's always a good joke. I guess more fitting would be "rearranging the ballast on a fresh-water sloop" (which totally lacks punch, doesn't it?). Reading has to be at the center of my work. Today's labors, and any follow-on I can get, should help me stay afloat, navigable, and smooth-sailing.

Here's to spring cleaning., Now, where is that ...


jaigner said...

Wow, Chuck, it hurts just to listen to this. I will say that my sweet wife has been encouraging me to go through the old library and she's probably right about it. She knows my family history of keeping ridiculous items, especially books, that have no intrinsic or personal value.

So good for you.

Chuck King said...

I know. I don't know what got into me.But I do like finding the books I know I want!

jaigner said...

So do I, provided I can satisfactorily articulate the reason to the person who shares my library space.