Clutter

May 20th, 2010.

Woke up @3:00am and immediately my mind switched to the day’s news, but first some cleaning therapy.  I can’t think straight through the clutter.  Toys, toys, toys…kleenex, dirty dishes, some more kleenex (sick kids…you know the deal), can’t put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher until I put away the clean ones from yesterday, or was it the day before?  Where was I? Oh ya, clutter. 

Papers, more papers, found the parent sign off sheet for today’s kindergarten field trip (found out later it was cancelled) under the MSP bill (FYI USA…MSP = Medical Services Plan – we all have health care in Canada, one way or another we all pay for it…just thought I’d squash that free health care myth while I’m cleaning up the clutter).  Someone once said something about ‘the sheer mass of what I’ve forgotten…’, but I forget what the point was.  Oh ya, clutter….focus.

It’s like the miles of trees levelled by the blast of Mt. St. Helen’s or the startling force of nature folding pines up the mountain on the slope opposite a massive avalanche, first, you can’t see the forest for the trees and then there are none.  Everything is clear now…no smokey haze, no chaos, no uncertainty.  There comes a point there is simply nothing but survival.  When I have put away the dishes, the toys, the papers, the kleenex, all of it, all the clutter, and there is nothing but my pencil, my Moleskine and my tea, everything is clear.

STOP READING HERE.

If you can’t, here is the inspiration…

It is amazing…no, it is awakening, how clear the focus is when survival is the final option.  (Bare with me if you’re still here and you will see how this all comes together.)  In the wake of what many local businesses – my own included – rightly deem the most financially disappointing two-week event in history (Vancouver 2010) it happened…not that anything physically happened, but that proverbial light went on between bouncing messages back and forth with my business partner…Whistler is in survival mode. 

Don’t get me wrong, in my 14 years here I understand all too well it is an uncomfortable but natural cycle of business that comes and goes in a resort town like Whistler, but following the Olympic Games it is certainly the most unexpected paradox;  all of the anticipation and preparation and the eyes of the nation, of the world, watching, sharing, celebrating, dreaming the dream along with us…and the gold medal goal that left so many cash tills empty at the heart of the excitement.  They (I’ll call them they for now) forgot to mention that part in all the clutter…highways and stadiums and security forces and rows upon rows of empty reserved parking spots for delegates and limousines and buses and pay parking and so many promises…the grand stands, the Olympic stores, the parking lots, they’re all empty now.

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