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The idea of order

I love office supplies. Wallace Stevens wrote a great poem, “The Idea of Order at Key West.” I subscribe, however, to the idea of order at Office Max or Office Depot or even the stationery aisle at the grocery store. Left to myself, I could buy every kind of holder or fastener or binder or filing system in existence in the faulty belief that with all those things I could be truly organized and creative. I have more than a little in common with Steve Martin’s character in The Jerk when he is trying to leave his house and all he needs is the garage door opener and a whole lot of other silly non-essentials.

The good news is that I am not left to myself. Also, I have learned from experience that new notebooks look wonderful in the store, but taunt me at home with all the things I have not yet written in them. I have a planner, which is very useful when I remember to use it, which is less often than I should; a new one is not going to be any more useful until I reconfigure what I think Brent might call wetware.

So I only bought the items listed on my little green post-it note. I have new pens that no one else in the house likes and I love to send across paper and new ink cartridges as an offering to the HP gods.

More importantly, the places where I keep my office supplies now look more like the office supply store: neat rows of things, small objects in containers, labels where necessary.

And I’m inspired to go write down some ideas in my planner. Maybe some poems about order? Right after I find the garage door opener…



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June 2012
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