There was a time, not that many years ago, when I basically had one decent pair of shoes. They were great shoes — red Dansko clogs, pretty much my favorite shoes ever. I wore them with everything from jeans to skirts to work trousers. I loved them as much when they didn’t match my outfit as when I did, and I even wore them backpacking across the Yucatan, on beaches and tiny villages. I thought of those shoes — long since fallen apart and given away — after I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. In the years since I lived in them, things have changed. I’m not broke anymore. My job has required different clothes than the ones before it. I’ve started acquiring, and shoes are something I’ve acquired. But I want my life to be simpler, more peaceful, and on Friday I began a KonMari-style clearout. Every article of clothing came out of the closets and dressers and laundry baskets and landed on the bed. It was shocking. Embarrassing. Enough to make me crumple. But I started sorting. “Does it spark joy?” Kondo tells you to ask of each item. Many things don’t. Not the dresses I once adored that are now tight across the middle, not the t-shirt that belonged to my ex-husband back when he was my high school boyfriend and we would make out in the movie theater, not the running shoes that never quite fit, Some things do. They have the spirit of the old red clogs in them. They remain.
March 20, 2015