Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Gardens, Monks, and Sock Drawers



In the Spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt."

--Margaret Atwood

Thanks for the quote, Kim. :)

I haven't been blogging as regularly as I used to--Spring is here and I get rather busy outside. My garden is my child and it's growing up nicely--but it's a rather messy kid and I'm the one who has to run after it. I haven't been spending much quality time in front of the computer.

As you can see from the photo, the bunny rabbits did not get all my tulips! These are the ones I planted late. If you get lazy in the autumn and don't plant your spring bulbs, you can hold off to February and still have them come up, at least in these parts. Oh, and I do get lazy in the autumn.

I also seem to be spending a fair bit of time spring-cleaning lately. I like things spacious and uncluttered, but stuff kinda creeps in and fills up the empty spaces.

I'm reminded of a class in Buddhism I took last year. The monk teaching the class told us about the time a friend of his arrived in Canada from Tibet with his meagre possessions. While staying at someone's home, he happened to see the contents of their sock drawer.

There were seventeen pairs of socks in the drawer.

Seventeen pairs! The visiting monk's mind reeled. He could not fathom why anybody would need so many. What was the purpose? Did Canadians need so many socks?

As a girl who rather likes socks,( and who also likes to have cozy feet in the winter and who probably has at least as many as seventeen pairs in various funky colours and patterns), I could gently explain to that poor bewildered monk why someone might have so many. But he does have a good point. I realize there is a saturation point when a person just has TOO MUCH of something.

This anecdote in class segued into a talk on letting go of possessions and the philosophy of non-attachment to things, but it was the story about the socks that came back to me this evening as I savagely went through my closet and drawers.

I filled three garbage bags full of clothing items to donate to a charity run that picks up tomorrow morning. Some of the clothes were given to me by friends to wear or sell, some items were things hopelessly too small or unfashionable or worn-out. Some things were just things I've let sit on hangers while I pondered what the heck I was thinking when I spent good money on them.

And I get the feeling I could do the same thing again if I pondered a bit more.

13 comments:

Pol* said...

I kringe to think what that monk would say about my sock drawer. Some women like shoes, I like socks! Fun, fluffy, colourful socks!

Ian Lidster said...

But, dear Spider, did the monk have anything to say about 'missing' socks -- where they go, and what is their ultimate destiny? It's an age-old imponderable.

Tai said...

I'm SO not a hoarder.
(well, besides my books, of course.)

And I definately no monk, but my mind reels at 17 pairs of socks too!

kimber the wolfgrrrl said...

My clutter has gotten out of hand. I donated two garbage bags of clothes yesterday, and I STILL have to climb over stuff to get to my desk.

(But I've still got that fabulous green dress you gave me, Spider... I haven't worn it yet, but only because I haven't had an occasion fantastic enough to warrant it!)

Zambo said...

Hi Spider Girl.

I know what you mean about the nicer weather and the outdoor to-do list growing...and about the possessions. I am reminded of one of my favourite films, "Fight Club", where it is mentioned that the things you own end up owning you...and...It is only after you have lost everything that you are free to do anything...Despite all this though, I am still a bit of a hoarding packrat...(for lack of a more glamourous term)...

Good luck with the spring cleaning and all the gardening!

Your tulips look good!

Take care out there!

Your Pal,

Zambo.

Dagoth said...

Hi Spider

If you get lazy in the autumn and don't plant your spring bulbs, you can hold off to February and still have them come up,

In this part of the country, in February, you can't break through the ground with a back-hoe and it's under three feet of snow anyways...

Your Tulips do look lovely though, I'm glad the rabbits didn't get all of them...

BostonPobble said...

While you are missed terribly when you do not blog so often, for heaven's sake ~ BE OUT IN THE WORLD! It's a wonderful thing.

Valkyrie said...

Live. Love. Laugh.

I'm trying to live by those three words.

Talent. Discipline. Professionalism.

Three words I try to write by.

It's hard to know when I should live and when I should write.

Ms.L said...

What a beautiful quote..I feel like I should get that tattooed on me somewhere:)

[Mat] said...

Smell like dirt indeed :)

My tulips are blooming these days.
And I have about 10000 "pissenlits" - taraxacum -
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taraxacum

My backyard is yellow... Dandelions. I'll remember the name now. I have a carpet of dandelions. I have lots to do... if only that rib would heal up.

17 pairs. A bit much maybe!

Dagoth said...

Hi Spider

I read this one on another blog tonight...

A Zen Buddhist walks up to a hotdog stand and says "Make me one with everything"

glenda said...

Love your tulips. They have to be dug up here and refrigerated to persuade them to bloom, just too much work.

Liz said...

The tuplips are georgeous.

I loved socks growing up too. There was a pair for each holiday, seems my love of holidays preceded my decorating. haha

btw I bet you have some great find in your closet.