On Leaving America – Part 10 A

Packing Up
Part 1 of 2

There are psychologic lists of stress factors, a sort of one–to-ten on various and arguable scales. ‘Death of a loved one’ always tops the list . . . Divorce is up there. There are a lot of lists of tens, I didn’t search too long, but they are easily found. The following is on Realbuzz.com.
Stress #10. “Significant changes in things that we have become accustomed to can be a real cause of stress. For example, changing your job or moving house may be among the most stressful things.”
I have recently realized something about myself, a discovery of sorts. My filing system. I tend to see myself as disorganized to the point of being sloppy. Lazy? All of the above? There are piles of books and heaps of papers pens and dictionaries, newspapers, clippings and magazines. Small mountains of magazines and books appear as if unaided by my living room chair, growing like mushrooms. Some this information is years old, others here a week and still unread might have a story or an article, some detail that might come in handy, maybe . . . someday, if I ever write about . . . whatever. A synonym finder is always in reach—external backups, USBs, CD’s and shifting snowfall drifts of paper.
All this must be sorted out, packed up or thrown away. It’s driving me nuts. Everything’s being moved! I suddenly realized I knew pretty much where any particular item lay, or lay under something. I have a kind of cognitive map, a sort of zone thing that directs me to what I am looking for within a foot or two. Not bad. Sometimes I lose things because they are left in a space where I think I can’t possibly can’t miss seeing them. But I do . . . for a while. Sooner or later they are discovered.
Someone wrote a beautiful thing about a Japanese librarian, an old man (this is many years ago). He has his own kind of cognitive map that that locates books in a labyrinth library, thousands of volumes arranged in no recognizable order other than within his mind.

There are no numbers, codes or alphabetic order . . . he just knows. The man’s analogies are constantly unlikely. For coke he might think, fire. He might file law with fox and other animals, but he knows exactly where things were. If you asked for a book that had something to do with law, he would go the animal section, then foxes, then lawyers, then law.

This above description was infinitely better said by someone I can’t remember, but you get the idea. Some of you will understand at once.

Memory Almost Full

About Bruce Louis Dodson

Bruce Louis Dodson is an American expat now living in Borlänge, Sweden with his wife, cat and dog. He is an artist and world traveler who writes fiction and poetry and practices photography in his less than copious free time. His work has appeared in: Barely South Review - Boundaries Issue, Blue Collar Review, Pulsar Poetry (UK), Foliate Oak, Breadline Press West Coast Anthology . The E-buffet, Qarrtsiluni, Struggle Magazine, Pearl Literary Magazine, Contemporary Literature Review: India, 3rd Wednesday, Sleeping Cat Books - Trip of a Lifetime Anthology, Northern Liberties Review, Authors Abroad - Foreign & and Far Away Anthology, The Path, Page & Spine, The Crucible, Sleeping Cat Books -Trips of a Lifetime, Vine Leaves, Pirene's Fountain,Tic Toc Anthology - Kind of a Hurricane Press, Cordite Poetry Review, Buffalo Almanac and mgv2.
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3 Responses to On Leaving America – Part 10 A

  1. stutleytales says:

    You are in good company 🙂

  2. It’s good to have piles of your treasured things that remind you of different times/places in your life. I tend to go the opposite direction, and purge too many things, often times giving away something I should have kept 😦

    Cheers to you!
    Courtney Hosny

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