Friday, February 18, 2011


According to Mary Douglas, matter out of place is waste (I’m not putting direct quotes in case this isn’t the exact wording). I wrote my master’s dissertation on Waste, so I should know this. She says that objects or things outside of their proper domain create waste, such as a saucepan in your bedroom, or a pair of shoes in the kitchen. They don’t belong to those areas of the house, hence create waste.

Not only are we surrounded by dirt, both literally and figuratively, our lives are cluttered. By things we don’t need or use but can’t let go of, by people we don’t want in our lives yet constantly pollute our existence, and ideas and thoughts that don’t give us any positive insights, but rather clutter and cloud our better judgment and thinking.

How does one get rid of this clutter? Unlike picking up a saucepan and putting it back on the stove or in the cupboard; or returning the pair of shoes to the shoe rack, clutter needs to be disposed of. It isn’t matter ‘out of place’ then, that needs to be returned or rearranged; rather it is waste that needs to be discarded, disposed of or gotten rid of.

While we may find it easy to get rid of a pair of jeans or shoes that clutter our closets, but without physically disposing of them, how do we remove people who clutter or lives and more so ideas that clutter our minds? Its times like these one could do with a Pensieve, to remove the mind’s burden into a repository of ideas and revisit them when and as one likes. Like a blog?