The Prairie Spy

Alan “Lindy” Linda

While I’m totally preoccupied with worry about whether or not the planet is going to be  annihilated by a rogue comet, or maybe poorly-understood dark matter might obliterate us, or maybe even whether or not we are cooked by a sudden EMP (ElectroMagneticPulse) from our sun, another concern is added to my burden.

I sigh, and tell  you:  By finding a book called “How to Tidy up your Life.”

 But then, joy comes in strangely shaped packages, I suppose.

I find that I am somewhat wary of this tidiness effort. As I look around to see what doesn’t give me “joy,” I of course must first examine my desk, which is untidily staring back at me right now. I guess over there on the bottom shelf of a small desk “arranger”—(read “tidier”) are four small give-away plastic calculators, which have been sent to me over time. They’re the free, not-very-good kind. A couple of them have keys that stick because I drizzled raspberry jelly in them while I was feeding myself comfort toast during a losing effort to not to give the IRS everything I own in taxes. (They got a lot; but they let me keep those calculators.)

So I cannot bring myself to tidy those away. They might yet give me joy on some future income tax calculation.

On the other end of my desk is a small squeeze jar of nasal spray, which I may or may not need again, depending upon whether or not the sinus surgery I went through not too long ago keeps working. Throwing—“tidying”—that spray bottle away is just asking for bad ju-ju. As long as it sits there taking up space on my desk, evil spirits may leave my sinuses alone. That’s joy. Pure joy.

In a moment of emergency paper clip deprivation (I ran out.), I ordered a fun looking assortment of multi-colored, multi-sized paper clips. I now have enough to last me the rest of my life, plus half more. Ever since I was looking for a simple paper clip and couldn’t find one, now that I have the deluxe pack of them sitting right in front of me, I haven’t needed another one.

That’s a success story right there. Joy. No doubt about it.

On the floor beside me are my shoes, all arranged neatly in a row. Sure. The row is six feet long, and you might see it and ask whether or not someone needs that many shoes, and sure, some of them are forty years old and should be discarded. And yes, I’ve replaced them with newer ones, but shoe joy is a poorly defined concept. Just because those old ones aren’t worn anymore? That doesn’t mean that that there’s no joy in them. They did after all give me extra joy all those years.

The author of that book didn’t explain what you do with extra joy, but that’s because it’s hard to fully understand the limits of it. Like I do. 

For example, I could take some of that extra joy, and…. (Read Lindy’s book: The Prairie Spy–who shot the dryer, to find extra joy.)