Saturday, March 31, 2007

A beautiful mess

Life is messy. Plain and simple.

I chose this picture because it is a good example of the beautiful messes we make because we're alive and well. I've been feeling a bit empty lately. Lots of feelings and ideas, but without the tools to put any of it into words. Messy stuff these emotions.

When we dance, we get sweaty.
When we love, sometimes there is hurt.
When we travel, there is discomfort.
When we paint or make films or have babies or bake cinnamon rolls or drive or garden or grow we make MESS. Big, beautiful messes. Messes that are usually fixable, but sometimes not. Our words can cause joy or pain. Our actions, our choices, our passions and dreams are all connected to mess.

Life is just messy stuff isn't it? So rather than try to put into words how I feel that joy and mess are interconnected, I figured I'd just ask you all what you think. If anyone is left to read this, after my neglect of this blog. :)

How is your life a beautiful mess? What makes a beautiful mess anyway? What passions do you have that connect the joy and the pain and the creations and the mess? How do you embrace the yin/yang of it all?

Everything that matters most to me in this life has involved mess or pain of one kind or another. I suppose we can't have the great moments, without the messy parts. Sometimes we glide through moments like a graceful skater on moonlit ice....other times we fumble around like a drunk in a dark room. But we keep on reaching, keep on dreaming, keep on living and dying don't we?

The idea of a "Beautiful Mess" was inspired by my friend Jenn, someone I've yet to meet in real life who inspires me constantly. She wrote:

" No matter who you are or what you want, it will always be about a beautiful mess. It will be about what you go out to find, even if only right outside your front door. It's not always waiting for you in the remote places; it's how you feel about being remote and what you do with those feelings. It's not in the crowds in those places on earth, it's right inside you. Your soul is waiting for words from others. Wanting to absorb them and learn from them. Waiting to put them into the right categories. That is the mission in life. A sorting machine is what I am. What you are. What all is. Sorting things and absorbing their meaning is like fuel for a fire or food for thought. It's what you do with it that matters in life. Nothing else. It's all about what you do with your own beautiful mess. How you absorb it. What you feel. What you do with those feelings."


Snavleys said...

Up until about a year ago it was something I really struggled with because we grew up with cleaniness LITERALLY being next to "Godliness"; my self worth was wrapped up in being neat and tidy. I've learned to let go and see the mess as a creative expression! I don't think I have ever had a mess that takes longer than 20 or 30 minutes to clean up preceding hours of laughter and creativity. I have really learned to embrace mess because it is a sign of being alive and having joyful kids around the house to share it with. I like that quote from the movie, Yours, Mine and Ours............."houses are for free expressions, not good impressions!"

kelli said...

We're still checking this blog Ren :D

I'll post a blog on messes, as soon as I can sift my way to the camera to take a picture *g*

BIG mess = HAPPY thoughts/memories

laura said...

so glad you're back. i have thought of you often and wondered how you were doing.

messes? well, messes i can talk about. i too am learning to be at peace with messes.

i was feeling mopey the other day about myself. i felt like i simply did not know how to do or be more than one thing at a time. when i do try to be, i am simply mediocre at them all. i have been focused on creating lately, so the mother/housewife part of me is not so hot. it's like i just CAN'T do it all. why were we told we could.

i look around sometimes and i flinch at the mess. i grew up in messes. i hate messes. but i must embrace them. making messes is part of making anything else. when my desk is a mess, i am less creative there...but i move to the couch or some other non-messy surface. still, i like when my desk is clean. it keeps my mind uncluttered too.

trying to embrace mess has also meant letting the kids have stuff everywhere in their rooms. and when they need to dump legos all over the living room, i breathe and i'm okay with it. it is okay, i tell myself. it is not the end of the world.

still, i find that i want to have everything clean. but i just can't do it all. it is a constant struggle to not need it to be tidy all the time.

i do go on...

Heather said...

Glad to see you are blogging again...I love your post on and Heidi both have an awesome view on it...ideally I would like my house to be mess free so I had less work...but it is not...a house that is perfectly clean and neat all the time is a house that is lacking life....I try to remind myself when I am cleaning our messes who I am cleaning the messes for and how thankful I am to have all these wonderful messmakers in my life.

Heather said...

Ren I nominated you for a thinking blogger award on my blog...

Anonymous said...

just listened to Shawn Mullins - Beautiful Wreck and thought of your post. great tune, great thoughts, we need the mess, we need the cleanliness, it is a sign of what happens in our lives, i struggle to be joyful in the cleaning it up part so the kids will see it as a part of life not an undesireable chore - who the hell am I kidding!!!? Jessica C

Sandra Dodd said...

I am fascinated by my friends' messes (physical or emotional) and embarrassed by my own. Maybe I can just hope that someone else finds mine fascinating!

When I get a new computer I'm also so happy at the new organization of it all, but eventually the computer desktop becomes a mess as my physical desktop is. HOORAY FOR SEARCH FUNCTIONS!!

I love to read what you write, Ren. Thank you for putting it where I can see it.

Ren said...

Back to this post....

I had a friend that was telling me about trying to "catch up" on her laundry and her Mum said "laundry isn't something you ever catch up just DO it.":)

That's such a healthier way to look at it! Cleaning is part of the swirl of my day. Wet towels and dishes and sticky floors and litter boxes and dust are just something we DO. It's not a feat to accomplish and be done with.

If we see the housework as a choice that is simply part of our joy, part of our living...isn't it a huge release? It is for me. Cleaning isn't something to finish. It isn't a goal to accomplish. It's yang energy, action that compliments other actions.

It's just life. And that's everything.

I enjoyed all the comments, thoughts and sharing of struggles.:) Thanks everyone.