Shake it out


How they wash windows in San Francisco

fortunately I live on the first floor and don’t have to do this to have clean windows

I’ve been on my new aluminum ladder this week, cleaning windows. When my side of the earth turns back towards the sun after many weeks, spring not only shows us the light, but the dirt that has been in hiding.

The rite of spring cleaning is exercised in many cultures. My favorite is the Persian expression khooneh takouni, which means, shaking the house. If I could shake my house, this is what would spill out: tax receipts, loose kibble, unread magazines, electric cords that could be used some day for someone’s phone or computer, and clothing and shoes I moved from my last residence that have not been worn in more than three years.

I’ve noticed several posts on social network sites exclaiming the collection of too much stuff in people’s homes, lives. All sorts of advice is flying around about how to deal with one’s possessions. One thing I haven’t seen is the advice, not to amass it in the first place. I guess that’s counterintuitive in our culture. When people lament their situation as being over-burdened by the things they have spent their lives thus far accumulating, it’s hard not to smirk at the irony.

Now that I have a manuscript in the hands of my editor (soon to be back in my hands with revisions, no doubt) I am going to khooneh out my old stories, clean them up, and see if anything is salvageable. They have been in the dark these many months, so I am a bit nervous as to the state of disrepair I may find them in. I may find them as clean and clear as the windows I just finished washing, or they may be a tangled mass like my telephone and computer cords.

In any case, time to get shaking. So let me know what would fall out if you shook your home.

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8 Responses to Shake it out

  1. Barb says:

    Sally, I love this blog post, especially the 3rd paragraph!

  2. Mary-Jane says:

    Your father

  3. Linda Morris says:

    What would fall out of my house: pens, pencils & markers; books; CDs; self made mixed cassette tapes; rocks & seaglass; photographs; DVDs; framed prints & paintings.

  4. Lis Bochette says:

    Taylor and a bunch of guys hidden in the closet?

  5. Amy C says:

    crap my husband thinks are bargins from garage sales- and estate!

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