• Aperture: f/5
  • Focal Length: 18mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Shutter: 1/40 sec
  • Camera: NIKON D1H

Northport, Alabama

Earlier in the week, Peggy Rogers requested a photograph to illustrate clutter. I suppose this could be considered the bookend to yesterday’s image. On the outside, my desk is almost always clean. I detest chaos and ruthlessly try to eliminate it as much as possible. But as the cliche goes, there are always two sides to every story, lurking in the shadows, waiting to come crashing down. This isn’t a pretty picture, but life isn’t pretty. Life doesn’t always have a tidy ending, no matter how hard you try to compartmentalize its fragmented pieces into pretty IKEA containers. You can gloss it up, stuff it down, hide it away for another day, but it always manages to explode in your face when you least expect it. That is the problem with hanging onto things — they manage to multiply, spill into other areas of your life.

Some of the things in this cabinet should have been thrown away years ago, others never should have made it home with me at all. Every once in a while, I rummage through the flotsam and jetsam, pick up each of the pieces to examine them, then carefully put them back in place, trying to stuff them in a little more deeply. It is a vicious cycle, each time leaving things a little messier than the last. The people who think they know me the best would be shocked to see such tucked away turmoil. I am the girl with all the answers. The one who always shows up. The one who never drops the ball. The one who always has one last rabbit to pull out of the hat. If I have a talent, this is it. I can be whatever you need whenever you need it. I can solve your problem, fix your mistake, clean up your mess — all while trying to keep my own tightly under wraps. It is exhausting sometimes, this delicate balancing act. It makes me long for the days when life was simpler, when the only thing I had to worry about was where my furry rabbit went.

This week, a dear friend and his wife brought their first child into the world. As is my custom, I tried to purchase something special for the baby. Carefully I inscribed a copy of Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree. Because it always makes me cry, I thought I should lighten things up a little, so I added a boxed set of Beatrix Potter books and this pretty little plush bunny. Welcome to the world, Aidan James. May your life be filled with beauty, your days filled with joy, and your innocent faith forever preserved. I wish you the best, little one. Forever and always.

Music: Fallen by Sarah McLachlan

Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd

Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd (lyrics)

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