The Write Stuff

The comedian George Carlin had an old routine that always cracked me up.

It was about “stuff” and how we all had too much “stuff” and everywhere we went our “stuff” followed us around. By the time he started talking about the portable containers someone invented so we could take our “stuff” with us on vacation, I was rolling on the floor.

I’ve been dealing with a lot of “stuff” lately – the tangible sort that comes with cleaning out houses and moving from one place to the next.

But also the sort that collects in the corners of your life, the white elephants of living we try to ignore in hopes that they’ll disappear.

When I’m bombarded with “stuff,” my creative side suffers. That has definitely been the case this past month or two. Both of my parents are ill, I sold a home that I loved – sad stuff, really – and so I’ve not been writing very much. I stopped doing morning pages too, because it was too hard to write anything about the stuff that was bothering me.

Intellectually, I know that writing can help people work their way through difficult times. But sometimes it can be beneficial to retreat from the things you do most often and just be quiet for a while, take some figurative deep breaths and regroup.

That’s where I am right now, working my way back to the words, putting all the stuff back in it’s proper place as I go.

And whatever stuff you’re dealing with today, a good laugh always helps.  Here’s George Carlin to give you one.


8 thoughts on “The Write Stuff

  1. I am so sorry that you are in a “blue” season at the moment. I will pray for some sunshine to come into your life and that you will be able to get to the place where you can write more. Writing about life is therapeutic but I understand that it can be painful sometimes. I love the comedy video, it made me laugh several times. We all do have way too much stuff huh?

  2. A good laugh is indeed helpful. I remember his skit on Stuff, which has always made me laugh. One of my goals for the Summer, as soon as school lets out, is to work on Clutter. Doesn’t it take almost everything we’ve got to keep on top of it?! Even my blog can get too full of Stuff if I’m not careful. I so empathize with your post.

  3. I’ve been working on clutter through this past year, ever since Mom died. Once I had her apartment cleaned out, it seemed like it would be a good idea to begin working on mine again. And so I have – step by step.

    Today, the clutter’s of a different order. The plastic baskets that “might” be useful someday and the stacks of magazines are gone. Now, I’m dealing with the china collection, photographs, jewelry and so on. There’s so much that just isn’t meaningful – shoeboxes filled with photos of people no one can identify, for example. Yes, “someone” could do “something” with them – but I know it’s not going to be me. Out they go.

    I’ve got a cut glass collection to deal with, too. It’s beautiful, and not so large – maybe a dozen pieces – but I don’t need it all. I suspect a few of those pieces will go as Christmas gifts. The way I figure it, in 20 years I could be gone, and in 40 I surely will be. Better to distribute some things now and give someone some pleasure than to have it tossed by someone after I’m gone!

    (Now, if I just could do something about the photo files on my computer…..)

    • The two things I have trouble getting rid of (as in throwing out or giving away) are glassware, photos, and books. Even the most humble kitchen ware has memories attached, and I find it hard to dispose of it.
      I have been ruthless and brutal though, with everything.

  4. I got rid of lots of stuff just before we moved here and it felt great! But now I need to be careful about filling up the empty places. Good luck!

  5. Hi, Becca — I’m sorry your parents are ill. That’s a toughie. I’m a stuff-keeper (much to Rick’s chagrin and occasionally to mine.) So, good for yo. Yes, glassware, photos and books are my problems, too! Good luck!

  6. I just went through our house with a trash bag… I try to declutter every few months, and it’s so interesting how it helps me feel space opening up within myself. I’ve not been blogging as much lately, but I’m actually in a highly creative place right now. I’ve been brainstorming, writing things down, sketching out ideas. I’ve wondered how in some ways, personal blogging can sometimes be a burden because it’s creates this feeling of always having to “produce” something for public consumption. But artists need time to explore and fill up, too. And you’re going through a lot of emotional things that take time to process. I may have said this before, but I had to stop morning pages because it was becoming my “negative energy dump” and it became counterproductive for me.

    • Yes, I can see how that happens – the negative dump thing. It’s all too easy to fill pages and pages with all the upsetting stuff you dare not say aloud.

      There are times when we need to just fill the well, and it isn’t always necessary to write – sometimes productive thought is a good thing!

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