Finishing The Unfinished: A Creative Footnote to #CutYourCrap

ShardsIn this week’s installment of Cut Your Crap, in an attempt to help get things moving for those folks feeling a pit constipated in their Spring Cleaning, I shared a few tips from Karen Kingston’s “Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui” one of which was to evict anything unfinished from your home. It’s the part of Spring Cleaning/Crap Cutting/Clutter clearing that both excites and terrifies me most. Because as a creative person, unfinished projects are kind of my thing.

Unfinished screenplays, scraps of paper containing book ideas, and post ideas, and obviously totally earth changing life altering million dollar ideas line my hard drive. But then there are the crafts – the baby sling I never quite felt I’d made secure enough, the tiny spot in our bar where the wallpaper wraps around because I’ve never cut that last bit off. The spot in the hallway that’s still yellow. The wall’s worth of wooly pockets I sewed myself only to realize the fence I had in mind wasn’t strong enough to hold a living wall, the half-upcycled mid century dresser in the basement. And until this week, a vintage muppets lunch box from my youth was filled with the shards of a prized possession that shattered after falling from my dresser sometime during my first year post-college. But last weekend, fresh back from the newest Muppets movie, Dee spotted the near-antique sitting on a shelf and decided she wanted it for her own lunch-carrying purposes. (The girl has taste, I’ll give her that.)

image-3As I opened the lunch box and rediscovered the shards for the 47th time, I knew that I had a decision to make. There would be no re-housing them in a tupperware and shoving them in the back of the craft closet for another ten years. Not during #cutyourcrap.

MeScott looked on with a smirk at the corner I’d painted myself in to. “Just throw them away” he taunted me. But I could not.

The small votive candle holder was a thirteenth birthday gift from a close friend (Hi Shiri!) and I loved it. I loved everything about it. It’s color, it’s drippy glaze, it’s handmade-ness, the way light reflected on the walls. It was one of the first things I owned that felt like MINE. 

fixingOver the years, there have been many other projects, I’ve given up on and recycled or dismantled to be used to other future whims. But not my shards. So this time, in honoring my pledge to live a less-cluttered life I dug the gorilla glue out of the drawer, and right then, in my bathrobe, set about gluing my beloved belonging back together. 

finishedAll this time I’ve been chiding myself over lack of inspiration and laziness for unfinished project, but my personal challenge to my creative self over the course of this Epic Purge we’re tackling together is to review all of those unfinished things (mismatched wall-swatches aside) and evaluate my love for them. It’s not how long they sit. It’s not how long they wait to be pieced from shards into a whole. It’s not whether I think they’re good, or valuable. It’s just whether I truly love them that will dictate if they’ll ever see completion.

Feed Me Seymour