simplifying. . .

by mulberryshoots

We’re a few weeks into the summer and I’ve been making some headway toward getting things cleaned out (see previous post, “Holding On”.) Yesterday in the muggy heat, I gathered up all the CDs in their plastic holders and many not. I laid them out on the table according to composer and kind of music. Finding the right cases for the loose disks was like playing the game, “Memory,” and I’m relieved that mine seems to be holding its own.

I found a dozen favorite CDs that I hadn’t listened to in awhile: Mendelssohn cello pieces played by Steven Isserlis and Saint Saens piano concerti played by Stephen Hough. All bright, optimistic melodies from the 19th century. The set of Schubert sonatas played by Radu Lupu also made it into my iTunes library on my laptop. I discovered that I buy multiple recordings of the pieces I like in order to listen to different pianists perform them. For example, I have Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavichord recorded by Rosalyn Tureck, Angela Hewitt, Sviatislav Richter, Till Fellner and Glenn Gould. Ditto the Chopin Ballades by Maurizio Pollini, Claudio Arrau and Vladimir Ashkenazy. Beethoven late sonatas played by Alfred Brendel, Maurizio Pollini, and Claude Frank.

Today, I’m going through the rest of the books that I started to weed out last week. There are many books that I value that I don’t look at anymore. I haven’t wanted to just donate them anywhere because I’d like them to be available to others. So yesterday, I talked to someone at the Worcester Public Library who said they’d be happy to take them along with CDs. They also suggested donating books to the local vocational school libary–such as cookbooks. I’m glad these outlets are available for these remainders from my libraries. It allows my conscience to know that they may be part of someone else’s reading and listening life.

There are lots of books to sort through, similar to the task of going through all the CDs yesterday. The result though, is a renewed awareness of not only what I have and want to keep. But also a renewal in appreciating the music I’m going to listen to while I sort through the books, a stack of them growing beside my chair that I want to read the rest of the year.

So, simplifying has been enriching for me in ways I did not anticipate. Meanwhile, the house is stacked with cartons that make the place look like we’re getting ready to move out. When what we are doing this summer is getting ready to move on.