Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Embracing Mess

Penelope Green saves me from a doomed New Year's Resolution:

Mess is robust and adaptable . . . as opposed to brittle, like a parent's rigid schedule that doesn't allow for a small child's wool-gathering or balkiness. Mess is complete, in that it embraces all sorts of random elements. Mess tells a story: you can learn a lot about people from their detritus, whereas neat -- well, neat is a closed book. Neat has no narrative and no personality (as any cover of Real Simple magazine will demonstrate).

No narrative! That does it. Neat is out. (Now if I can just convince Mark...)

3 comments:

anna said...

I so disagree with Ms. Green. For me, neat makes room for narrative.

Magpie said...

Too neat is sterile; too messy is chaotic. There's a happy medium somewhere - I find that our house moves from neat to messy in a kind of sine wave - so we get all phases. But, my husband's tendency is towards the neat freak - which makes both of us crazy. So can you convince him too?

Lilian said...

I *LOVE* that... both of us are kind of messy (all right, I'm awfully messy), but my husband can make things *look* neat, which I think is great. I think a middle ground would be good, although I can only attain it with poor hubby's help...