Sometimes I look around at my home, and the semi-mess within, and embrace their embrace of the untidiness.
Part of it is the simple reminders of the situations which brought about that particular mess. Sometimes it’s the recognition that the mess implies an obligation elsewhere.
Other times, I love that it shows a tolerance towards frailty, or that sometimes we can’t do everything, and things get forgotten and glossed over. Sometimes it’s our particular brand of … something, that causes us to rarely remove decorations, having birthday party and holiday decorations up long after the occasion has passed, and usually on into the next one.
All of this together is so reflective of the overarching character and personality of my family that I embrace the meaning of the mess, and revel in the capability to do so.
I know that not every one can live in this kind of haphazard attention to detail. My mom is one of those people, and merely by great grace sustains a similar ignorance to it.
But when a disruption of the perfectness of a room also indicates life within it, it sends a thrill in my heart. I love that there are visible representations of a person’s movements, and I love that we are allowed to have these.
I feel stomped on when I’m asked to leave no mark, almost like they wish I was not in their life at all.
Mess is usually considered messy. But in my mind it’s considered the trails of life left on a person’s heart. I love to tell the stories of them to myself in hopes of someday being able to share these memories with more people – a hope I know is futile for such insignificant things are only important to myself, I say.
But when a sink full of dishes needs to wait for another day because of a challenging day and my housemate says “I don’t care. We have clean dishes, so that’s all that matters. And if I was upset about it, I should wash them,” I’m struck by their graciousness. And when a bathroom sink holds shaving equipment, dog toothbrushes, recycling thrice forgotten and a project in mid-wash, I smile at the leniency for human mistakes, remembering that I was not once reminded to put away the toothbrush and recycling, like it was tacitly implied I would remember at some point, and the realization that only half the mess was mine.
I simply love it. And this is something that may not ever be able to be shared by another human being, because mess is considered a burden on others, so my reveling in it may be seen as callous.
But I love it, because I see it as life and kindness and memories, personified.