Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Closet Intervention

Many innovators populate these woods. I've often thought it would be interesting to shadow them, accompanying one at a time for an entire day, no strings attached and no required chit-chat or explanations. I would carry a book and my journal and quietly follow.

The more I listen and learn, the more I realize how myopic I am, mired in my own paradigms. It's fun to discover other people's different responses to the same or similar stimuli and inputs. For example, does a wilted plant prompt dismay, cussing, abandonment, questions, research, an alternative crop, a different variety?

Our weekend guests, V and L, mentioned that L had considered hiring a consultant to review her closets with her -- to decide what to keep, what to give away, and what to replace. V convinced her they could do it better together because no consultant would thoroughly understand or appreciate L's fine, sometimes eccentric, taste.

That's what I mean -- a "closet organizer" for my brain. I suppose I could find a consultant somewhere who could help me explore paradigms of the mind, but it would be more fun to do it myself, processing data received directly from other creative individuals. I might even make new friends in the process.

I'm not simply proposing the time-worn concept of a mentor. I wouldn't expect these people to take an interest in me, although that suggests a second step. If any of them wanted, we could trade places and I could be the subject for a day. As another step, we might meet to discuss our notes and explore the questions we withheld during the days of observation. "Why didn't you do these two things in the same trip to the barn?" "Did you consider painting it blue instead of green, or staining it?" "Did you ever sit in the rocking chair on your porch to enjoy your remarkable view?" "Do you really need to shower every day?" "Did you consider multiplying instead of adding?"

Virginia once said, "I've learned to be suspicious of any person who gripes about being too busy. 'Busy-ness' is a personal paradigm, created by choice. If someone is 'too busy,' he or she suffers from closet clutter."

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