Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Storytelling Starters ~ Decluttering

Short blog today. Too much going on.

Clutter, decluttering … words are words. Dealing with what they represent is another kind of thing that involves effort and determination and a sense of purpose. Personally, I can’t decide what’s more urgent – decluttering rooms, shelves and boxes of paper or decluttering my mind.

All around me, friends are talking about decluttering their houses. From one I got a sense of great mounds of stuff, bags of no-longer-needed belongings and boxes of papers (not all of them his) and finally making his way past them to a cupboard in which hung clothes that had hung there unworn for many years, taunting him with images from the past. From another I got the sense that, looking around her house, she simply didn’t like the sight of anything she saw. What was she to do? What are any of us to do?

But where’s the problem?

For me, it’s the mind that’s crying out to be decluttered. Stories, no stories, a desire for new ones. Ideas, too many, projects begun and not finished. Strong feelings for possible campaigns such as raising the country’s attention to the fact that children need stories and time for stories and the chance to dream and relax and imagine. All squabble for attention now the new year is here.

Ironic, isn’t it? New Year comes. Generously it opens its hands to opportunities for fresh new things, sweeping away what’s dusty and stale. Some people make New Year resolutions. Eat less. Drink less. Get fit. And meantime in the outside world – here in West Wales at least! – the wind howls round the village, beats along the beaches, knocks down road signs and rolls dustbins off their perch. Friends, tradition, wind – all say, ‘Come on, get going.’

Answers by next week?

And here I sit in a slumped condition – maybe it’s the same for you? – puzzling over where to begin and currently exhausted by the challenge. Maybe by next week I’ll have got some ideas for dealing with the tangles. Or maybe I’ll still be transfixed into inaction by all that’s swirling round my brain. Who knows? With luck, the wind will blow away my cobwebs and reveal some answers.

PS: Stones on a beach, seaweed on the shore: they make their own lovely order. I love taking photos of the patterns they create.

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2 Responses to “Storytelling Starters ~ Decluttering”

  1. Lesley Dowding Says:

    I really like this hot topic decluttering.However I am still recovering from the last blog especially the strawberry reference.This time of year in New Zealand strawberries are on the menu.When I tell Christmas stories I like to include
    tales about strawberries but also I am mindful of not too many words to clutter the tale.
    Also at this time of year many people think we bathe in long hot sunny days like Australia but we are exposed to King tides wild gale force winds and damage along our coast with boats tossed upon cloudy seas.Giant boulders tossed into another place.Giant logs left stranded along with soft gentle seed pods, in comparison to old ship engines, concrete umbrella stands.
    After our most recent storm the beaches were cluttered with waste.The sea it appears coughed up the rubbish, people have thrown at it and it spat it back saying here, you deal with your own clutter.
    In the storytellers eyes however, it could be seen as treasure ,flotsam, that which floats or gets washed up .Story starters to refresh the cluttered mind of the everyday, to inspire the imagination and share with others. David Wiesner wrote Flotsam a book well worth exploring. Perhaps one mans clutter is another mans treasure.Thanks Mary once again you inspire.

  2. Mary Medlicott Says:

    Dear Lesley, It was so lovely to get your message – and all the way from New Zealand always feels a special treat. Sea coughing up so much rubbish is a huge concern. But I know what you mean about flotsam, almost always intriguing as long as it’s not ghastly plastic. I’ll look out for the David Wiesner book you mention. And meantime, on with the decluttering. All the best – and hope you don’t get too many more wild storms. Mary

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