A Little bit of Awe

I have always loved the quote that says a messy desk is the sign of a creative mind.  If that is true, then just imagine what a messy bedroom, office, and general mess in living must represent!  Great rivers of creativity coursing through my whole body!

When I go away for the week-end it isn’t long til I have belongings spread in every room:  a pair of sneakers here, several books over here, a journal on this table and a jacket resting on the back of that chair.  Even when I eat lunch in the office kitchen, I feel like my little spread of lunch munchies reaches further out across the table than my lunchmates.  I have come to accept that I feel most comfortable when things just aren’t too neat and tidy around me.

But I am feeling a shift in this scattered way of living, at least in one area of my life.  As Jay and I rearrange our living space yet again in our oddly shaped and emptying-nest house I feel some agitation over the stashes of books I am finding in almost every room I spend time in.  I am feeling an unfamiliar yearning to collect them all together in one space.  I imagine that all these beloved books would delight in whispering to each other at night as they stand shoulder to shoulder on the shelf.

I like the idea of my books snuggling up beside each other or maybe forming little conversation circles.  I think, despite their differences in form and tone and age they would like each other.  There may be lofty conversations but somehow I think not.  Certainly not heated arguments for they are similar in their intentions toward laughter or growth or reconciling.  I want to sit in front of them, collected from the random shelves or desks from my house – pulled together to form one rich bookscape of knowing.  I imagine I would be astonished to see them all lined up beside, above, and below each other and realize the accumulation of time, curiosity, challenge, joy, and insight they represent in my life.

Maybe gathering all my books into one space symbolizes the deeper integration I am feeling in my life as I explore new spaces in myself.   Having the whole (or at least more of it) in one place so I can see and feel it all at once – and stand in respect and a little bit of awe.  Like, wow – all this richness, the time spent, the seeking for truth and connection, the simple pleasure, and the agonizing attention – they turn into a pretty amazing collection when they are (I am) together in one space.

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  1. There are some AWESOME books in that picture, Tina! You can never go wrong with Lamb, and all that Kingsolver and Lamott…. and then Enger’s book- a modern classic! And then there’s that book by some guy named Swartz….

  2. tinaburkholder

     /  October 21, 2012

    HAHA John! I thought the Swartz guy might appreciate spending some time with Biff!

  3. Jay Burkholder

     /  October 21, 2012

    Your certainly are an amazing collection, opening and closing and moving amongst pages, chapters and books.

  4. You are a seeker and an integrater. Some must pull from a lot of resources; others from a few. Perhaps the outer represents the inner — resources spread around, available and handy when needed, like bits of poems. You have Oriah Mountain Dreamer!

  5. Carolyn Bergey

     /  November 4, 2012

    Tina – the gathering of your books is a window into your soul. The conversations that have stirred in your heart are cherished.


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