We are cleaning the basement at my house. I find this immensely exciting. Seriously. And when Mr. Lippman takes on a project, he works with a ferocity and a level of perfectionism that is truly admirable. (If only we could find a way to channel his formidable drive into something creative.) What have we found?
Books. Books, books, books. Some — not many, I donâ€™t second-guess myself about reading and re-reading — have found their way back onto the shelf. (Apologies, The White Tiger.) Â Most have gone to the Book Escape where we have a credit to buy . . . more books.
Crap. We are filling three-to-four garbage bags every day. There seem to be an unusual number of broken kites, which we buy at the beach every summer. Also, a lot of coffee cups, which cannot fail to amuse me.
Things that were never unpacked after our kitchen was remodeled three years ago. All my fault. This has included some lovely discoveries. Ramekins! This old set of spice jars, which I have decided to spiff up. An almost complete set of crystal.
Chairs. They appear to be breeding. Four old oak chairs, one broken, purchased at the Waco flea market almost thirty years ago. Four chairs from Scan. A desk chair. A wooden folding chair. A childâ€™s chair. Another wooden chair. Itâ€™s like The Birds, but with chairs.
There also is a set of my grandmotherâ€™s china, which no one wants — including me. The people who buy china say this pattern is not in demand, except for the serving platters. I donâ€™t want it, yet Iâ€™d like it to go to a good home.
We often speak of the mind as an attic. I think thatâ€™s because our heads are at the top end of our bodies; the brain is a storehouse under the eaves. But lately, I feel like my brain is more of a basement. I am digging deep, dredging up stuff I forgot that I had. (“Oh, yeah, her motherâ€™s only fifty-five, thatâ€™s interesting, use it.”) I am getting dirty and sweaty. There is little visible sign of progress.
But then you find something like this graceful little vase, coated with dirt. You clean it, put some flowers in it, and the day seems to have been worthwhile, even if itâ€™s just one small vase with flowers that are going to die. (Weâ€™re cheerful like that around here.)
In short: Iâ€™m in the middle of a book, with another one about to go on sale. Life is going to get complicated for a while, albeit in a good way. And before I know it, Iâ€™ll be hip-high in the basement again, literally and figuratively.
Thanks for showing up for the first week of the new blog. Next week is when things get really interesting. Complete details about how to attend the Aug. 22 pizza party at Iggieâ€™s. Pay close attention. Because once the online sign-up window closes, it has closed.
Meanwhile, itâ€™s Friday, time for a dance party. Hereâ€™s the current house favorite.
Like the hero, I am diligent, but not very elegant. My output doesnâ€™t stink, though. Even with a week of basement cleaning, I have managed 6,000-plus words this week. Is your creative process up under the eaves or down in the depths? Please share in the comments section.