I’m a fan of podcasts. I load them onto my iphone and listen while driving, walking the dog, washing the dishes, or doing anything that doesn’t require critical thought. It keeps my mind engaged and I usually can add something to my stockpile of semi-useful information. (i.e., My father is older than sliced bread. Commercially sliced bread was introduced in 1928, my father was born in 1923. There you go.)
One of my favorites is Marc Maron’s podcast, WTF.* It’s Maron having conversations with interesting people. The conversations are wide-ranging, and while Maron clearly prepares, they go off on wonderful tangents. He’s irreverent, provocative, irritating and funny. Before he gets into the conversations, Maron talks about something going on in the world, in his life, or both.
Recently, at the start of Episode 694, Maron was talking about getting rid of things. He said, “I keep what I can keep and I get rid of what I can’t.” He let go of “things that represent relationships I’ve had in the past, things that have no meaning anymore.” My organizer ears pricked up. Here was a man speaking gospel.
“…it was just sitting there eating up my psychic space, reminding me of a certain primal sadness…”
He had just moved a big piece of furniture, a buffet that once belonged to his ex-wife, from his house to an off-site office. First he emptied it of knick-knacks, “getting rid of them if they are full of magic that is having a negative impact” on his life. “Haunted vessels,” he called them, “cursed pieces of rock.”
As I listen, I am liking this more and more. Maron is articulating in deeply personal and idosyncratic language, the very core of what we grapple with as professional organizers – our emotional attachment to things, why it is so hard to let go, yet when we do so, we experience a tremendous sense of relief and release.
“it was like something was lifted off of my fucking heart, man.”
Even after he moved the buffet into his office, Maron realized that it still “took a big piece of my brain.” He said, “…it was just sitting there eating up my psychic space, reminding me of a certain primal sadness that was triggered upon her exit. And just sitting there, and creating somewhat of an emotional void…”
He decides to get rid of it, to put it out on the street, to strip it of its power. Nobody else knew it was “…saturated with cigarette smoke and arguments and weird decisions and hopes and dreams.” When he did that, when he got it out, “it was like something was lifted off of my fucking heart, man.”
A guy comes by and takes it. Maron tells him, “…enjoy it because it was hurting my heart. But it won’t have any impact on you.”
He ends by saying, “purge yourself of the haunted artifacts of the past!” They work on a subconscious level to remind you of things and people and events gone by that are no longer relevant in your present life. He says, “this stuff is charged but it’s only as charged as you perceive it to be. And that’s all that’s necessary for magic to work.”
Once he got rid of the buffet, he said, “…man, did that start a roll, man. I have been throwing shit out like crazy. My house actually is comfortable and I like sitting in it. It’s not (a) clutter-fest.”
I was blown away. Marc Maron, a stand up comedian, podcaster, actor and writer, eloquently described why we professional organizers do what we do. We want you to understand the pyschological patterns that keep you locked, to understand what is holding you back, to free yourself of “draining ghost vessels” and step into an unburdened future.
*yes, it means exactly what you think it means