This bookcase would be more of a mess, but GOM sits beside the bookcase, & is inclined to obsessively tidy it all. At the extreme right you can just see the untidy toybox peeping out behind GOM's chair.
And here, on my side of the headboard, more books waiting to be read or finished. More mess.
I need to do some downsizing of the growing messiness in my life. I am a hoarder, much to my dismay.
When I was growing up, the constant cry was 'tidy up'. We lived in a very small house, so tidiness was essential really. But I was never keen to do the tidying- nor did I like the result much.
I remember going to school, I would walk to meet a friend, & she was usually running late. She had 2 older brothers, & a baby sister. I loved going to use the toilet in their house, because they had a huge calendar that hung on the wall, & her brothers used to write each other rude messages on the calendar. I loved to read the messages, & would always come out laughing.
Because her mother was always busy with the baby or the brothers, the house was always untidy. There would be books all over the place, football boots by the fire, drying off. Newspapers scattered about. Socks airing by the fire on a rack. They had 2 very fat cats, & they would sit beside the fire, or all over the seats. The kitchen was a huge room with one end of it the dining living room area. It seemed always sunny & warm in that wonderful, busy, messy kitchen.
My girlfriend had long hair, & her mother would plait it for her, & she would squeal with pain, & pull faces. I had wished my hair was long, but when I saw the ritual of the plaiting, I was not so keen. My friend would be apologising for being late, for her mother taking so long to plait her hair. I would watch the comfortable, chubby form of her mother, surrounding her family in love, it seemed with her size, & cheery face.
But I loved it all. I would sit happily among the cats, & watch the motes in the sunlight streaming through the kitchen window, & bask in the lovely warmth of the atmosphere. I was always sad when it was time to go, & we had to venture out into the cold morning air, & run shivering through the cold frost laden gully, that swooped down so steeply, & darkly.
The earth would stand on stalks with the hard frost, looking like funny little dirt trees. The ice would be thick in the puddles, & our hands would hurt with the intense cold. Grass would be heavily frosted white, & would seem ready to break or shatter if touched.
When we got to school, we would go to the oil heaters lining the class rooms, & try to warm our hands. They stung painfully as they thawed out. I cant believe, looking back, that we were not allowed to wear long pants. Our winter clothes never included long trousers at all. I suppose it has all changed now, with the advent of track pants for children going to school, or long pants at least.
But I still remember the wonderful relaxed mess, as being so much nicer than neat. I had another friend, whose mother was a neat freak. There was no relaxed comfort there. She was thin, angular, awkward, & seemed to keep her house the same. No mess, no warming boots or slippers. No chaotic heaps of books or toys. Just neat, clean order.
And I recall another friend whose house was the opposite. So messy the chickens ran in & out of the house. One might encounter cat pee or worse in the rooms. The kitchen was the domain of dogs & cats on the benches. Incredible. People said her mother was mad, or at least a little crazy.. she may have been.
The chaos & mess in that house seemed audible, cacophanous, not the wonderful humming melodic notes of the first friend, nor the thin squeak of the neat house.
I wonder what sort of noise my house makes. A chaotic one I guess, with laughter & barks, perhaps.
I just know I always felt much more comfortable in messy houses where casual was the order of living, than in sterile tidy houses. On the other hand, totally chaotic dirt was not to my taste either.