Not Calm

snowy hillsides SE of Taos, NM

Two days ago…mysterious!

The pressure’s on. Where’s it coming from? Aieee! I haven’t been wound so tight since what, three days ago?

Today I spent the entire day cleaning one small room, the one we call the “saloon” because it has an actual bar of sorts and of course the wood stove and a sofa. The dust was so thick in the corners, it was growing from the bottom up like stalagmites. I couldn’t stand the filthy dusty books and piles of magazines, as well as other junk, so I piled them in the living room next to my desk. (Of course I left a path, what do you think?) Now I’ll have to sort them out, box them up, and pretend there’s room inside the storage unit. As my wife said, “To what purpose?”

“To keep them, of course,” I said, because that was easier than admitting I’d be scared to part with books I haven’t touched in thirty years or more—hell, I just saw one I last opened in ’71! But what if I need to look something up tomorrow, eh? Then what? I can’t be trusted in these matters. You’d find me just as reluctant to throw away old work boots that don’t fit right any more. I must have at least three pairs of those.

Anyway, the saloon feels airy, clean, and sane. Nothing else does, but you have to eat your kibble where you find it.

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John Hamilton Farr lives at 7,000 feet in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, U.S.A. As New York Times best-selling author James C. Moore tells it, John is “a man attuned to the world who sees it differently than you and I and writes about it with a language and a vision of life that is impossible to ignore.” This JHFARR.COM site is the master writing archive. To email John, please see CONTACT INFO on About page. For a complete list of all John’s writing, photography, NFTs, and social media links, please visit JHFARR.ART  

  • Marti Fenton December 15, 2015, 1:42 PM

    I understand. I have books from when I worked at the Tattered Cover in Denver, 23 years ago and even before. There is a right time to read books. I’ve been reading some of them for the first time and rereading others. I keep all of them for reference and sometimes I actually need them. Didn’t read for years after moving to Taos. I didn’t need to. Life was like a novel. Now I’m catching up. I got rid of a lot of old clothes that I wish I had now, so won’t do the same with books.

  • M.J. December 15, 2015, 11:40 PM

    Yeah, it’s hard to let go. Sometimes you have to let go in order to get something new. Of course, I think at last count I have 6 large plastic tubs of books hoarded for a grandchild and one rather large bookcase filled. It’s hard for an old teacher to let go. I did give up 5 tubs to make room in a closet to say, “See I am not a hoarder”, to my spouse. I have a need to move in a year and I am trying to do more evaluation of stuff and it is a nice feeling to give away and share items loved.

    • JHF December 16, 2015, 12:04 AM

      My wife is like that about giving things to people. Priceless object fly through her fingers like fairy dust. She gets a lot of her power that way.

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