Total Pageviews

Monday, August 6, 2012

On leaving America - Part 10A

Packing Up
Part 1 of 2

There are psychologic lists of stress factors, a sort of one –to-ten on various and arguable scales. ‘Death of a loved one’ always tops the list . . . Divorce is up there. There are a lot of lists of tens, I didn’t search too long, but they are easily found. The following is on

#10.  “Significant changes in things that we have become accustomed to can be a real cause of stress. For example, changing your job or moving house may be among the most stressful things.”

I have recently realized something about myself, a discovery of sorts. My filing system. I tend to see myself as disorganized to the point of being sloppy. Lazy? All of the above? There are piles of books and heaps of papers pens and dictionaries, newspapers, clippings and magazines. Small mountains of magazines and books appear as if unaided by my living room chair, growing like mushrooms. Some are years old, others  here a week and still unread . . . might have a story or an article, some detail that might come in handy, maybe . . . someday, if I ever write about . . . whatever. A synonym finder is always in reach—external backups, USBs , CD’s and shifting snowfall, drifts of paper.

All this must be sorted out, packed up or thrown away. It’s driving me nuts. Everything’s being moved! I suddenly realized I knew pretty much where any particular item lay, or lay under something. I have a kind of cognitive map, a sort of zone thing that directs me to what I am looking for within a foot or two. Not bad. Sometimes I lose things because they are left in a space where I think I can’t possibly can’t miss seeing them. But I do . . . for a while. Sooner or later they are discovered.

Someone wrote a beautiful thing about a Japanese librarian, an old man—this is many years ago. He has his own kind of cognitive map that that locates books in this labyrinth library, thousands of books arranged in no order other than within his mind. There are no numbers, codes . . . he just knows. The man’s analogies are constantly unlikely. For coke he might think,  fire. He might file law with fox and other animals. But he knew exactly where things were. If you asked for a book that had something to do with law, he would go the animal section, then foxes, then lawyers, then law. This description given here was infinitely better said than with my attempt, but you get the idea. Some of you will understand at once.

Continued On Next Page - Scroll Down

No comments:

Post a Comment