Saturday, April 17, 2010

Books Are Holy Objects

The March/April issue of Spirituality and Health has several nice articles and an intriguing picture that I presume is the library at Trinity College in Dublin. At a quick first glance, the arched ceilings and dark wood look like some antiquated train station. Then the eye zeroes in books, rows of books, floors of books, enough books one could get lost in the stacks as well as the pages.

In an accompanying article, Thomas Moore urges readers to not give up reading books the old fashioned way, in hand-held volumes. He acknowledges new technology and plans to buy an electronic reader himself. However, he sees books as holy objects and libraries as holy places: he urges us to make a place in our homes for a library and to work to save our local libraries. I am ahead of Moore on this one, having worked for my local library and having had DH build bookcases in four rooms and a hallway of our home. I do occasionally have to weed the books down to keep books within these bookcases. Otherwise the overflow would be like the trash piles in Shel Silverstein’s poem about Cynthia Stout who never took the garbage out!

Another above average article speaks about 87 year old Debra Szekely, founder of several well known health spas in her lifetime such as California’s Golden Door. Szekely’s most choice bit of advice is to be aware of how we use our time. She says we ARE how we use our time. She has a strategy for using colored pencils or crayons to mark a past week of one’s daily calendar. The colored coded markings will show you how your time was used and guide you to making desired changes in your life.

While some articles in the magazine might be too liberal for some readers, most have some grain of thought worth consideration. The issue’s last page has three tips for Spring Cleaning our lives: Get rid of “stuff”, spend more time on meaningful activities, and start buying, spending and wasting less. While DH is redoing the bathroom, I am weeding through drawers and closets tossing out as much “stuff” as I can bear to part with now. It is amazing how non-materialistic we are at this house, yet how each closet and drawer seems to be full. I can part with pealed sweaters, old magazines, sugar bowls with no lids, but how do I toss out a coin purse my dad, who is no longer here, gave me when I was six years old? Knowing that my children will know nothing about that cheap, yellowed piece of 1950’s plastic and will send it sailing to the dumpster faster than a paper plane still does not make it easier to toss now. But I will keep weeding other things and maybe the little purse can stay a tad longer, despite its useless “stuff” classification!


Linda O'Connell said...

I can so relate to the coin purse. I have a box of 'antiques', worthless, but treasures to me that my kids and grandkids will one day pitch, but I can't part with them.

irishoma said...

What a lovely post, Claudia. As much as I need to eliminate clutter, I have a stash of momentos of loved ones that I cannot throw out.