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Old 07-04-2020, 10:46 AM   #161
Ginger
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Before Marie Kondo came up with the "Does it spark joy?" criteria for whether to keep or throw something out, I was pruning my belongings for things that gave too much weight to my footprint.

I have always moved often, which was another motivating factor in trying to be conscious about what I hold on to.

That said, I only allow myself to keep poetry and reference books.

I buy three or four books of poetry a month and constantly go through my shelves, reassessing the impact of the books there.

(I do the same with every other class of objects I own.)

Recently I've been focusing on Black women poets. I'm reading Marilyn Nelson, Lynne Thompson and a recent anthology of the work of Pat Parker.

I have a stack of poetry collections by my favorite reading chair and put narrow post-its on the pages with work that really gets to me, before I put them alphabetically on the shelf.

I know this sounds very nerdy. But it feels good.

When I was in grad school and lived with a lover, I came home once to find she had consolidated our libraries; alphabetized all our books together.

I knew she meant it as a gesture of commitment to our shared home, but I had mixed feelings

I'm like that Jill Clayburgh character who says, when her lover imagines their old age together, teeth in the same glass by the bed "I want my own glass."
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