Curating

I am suffering most terribly from baby brain at the moment….before I was pregnant, I thought it was one of those made-up things. But no. I click on ‘new’ to send an email, and promptly forget who I was going to email, and about what. Carl says I frequently trail off in the middle of sentences, as though I have forgotten I was even talking.

And so, I came across a snippet in a book, or magazine the other day, which really inspired me. Or it might have been a blog. Only I can’t remember which one of those three it was, let alone which particular instance of whichever one it was…or even the exact wording.

But it was something along the lines of before you do anything, ask yourself if this is the kindest and best thing you can to do help support you in what you want to achieve…and there was definitely something about setting intentions, and there was definitely a line about curating your life.

Quite a muddly hodge-podge of remembrance, considering I found it very inspiring. I have a lot of letting go to do in the coming months, and thinking of it as curating feels really empowering. It makes me feel like I have the right and the power to make choices, and the feeling of them contributing to something more.

And so I have ‘curated’ my bookshelves. It may sound like a small thing, but it was a bit thing for me, and I feel so much better for it. My bookshelves have been over-full for months (years?) and I have had a build up of books that don’t fit, waiting for a home. And so I went through every book I own and asked if it still has a place in my life or not. Books that I loved once, but I have moved on from went into a pile for the charity shop. I am thinking of it as setting them free for new owners to find and love. I still have hundreds of books left, but they fit onto the shelves now, and there is a feeling or order. I have split them into fiction and non fiction, and then, just because the mood took me, I arranged them by colour.

So now I have fewer books that will need to be packed up when we move into our new home (which we haven’t found yet!) and hopefully now I can see the wood for the trees, and they are all living on the book shelf, I will be able to appreciate what I have got more.

There is definitely something to this curating idea. Looking in the dictionary, it comes from the latin curare which means to take care. It can of course mean a member of the clergy (who takes care of his parishioners) but in this instance means ‘a manager or overseer. Traditionally, a curator or keeper of a cultural heritage institution (e.g., gallerymuseumlibrary or archive) is a content specialist responsible for an institution’s collections and involved with the interpretation of heritage material. The object of a traditional curator’s concern necessarily involves tangible objects of some sort, whether it be artwork, collectibles, historic items or scientific collections. More recently, new kinds of curators are emerging: curators of digital data objects and biocurators.’

For me there is something to do with editing there, too. When you go into a museum, it isn’t often that they have their entire collection out, willy-nilly. There is a sense of purpose, of intent, of editing. And that’s what I will be aiming for as I continue to prepare for our move. Taking with us only what we need and/or love, and thinking about where and how to use and display things in our new home.

Now the sunshine is out and the daffodil shoots are emerging, the breeze seems to be carrying the urge to spring clean with it…

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