The Idea of Order

(This has nothing to do with Wallace Stevens’ “Idea of Order at Key West,” though you should read that, too!)

Fifteen minutes. Can I write this that quickly? That’s all the time remaining before bed, because after dinner I continued reading O Magazine until all the words were consumed.

My girls mock me for reading O. My subscription to Elle they can work with–there the ephemeral fashion is leavened with intriguing, in-depth articles on sophisticated subjects. But our mom reading O?!

Last month I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, by Marie Kondo. And when I finished it, I felt much the same quiet cheerfulness I now feel after consuming my O. And after I (re)read Living Beautifully Together by Alexandra Stoddard, which was all the rage in 1989.

Back in 1989, when I was a college junior, I implemented many of Stoddard’s suggestions for a more beautiful–read, more ordered–life. But even as young and unformed as I was, what I wanted and got from the book was more meditative than practical.

There is beauty in the world. In small things, in larger things, in unexpected places…and unexpected opportunities. If you like, you can choose in a moment to see beauty, share beauty, and/or cultivate beauty.

That’s what I treasure about O. And Living Beautifully Together. Why not live more beautifully together?

<ding> 🙂

3 thoughts on “The Idea of Order

  1. And why not is the right question, not why. That’s where poetry has it over prose – you take something small and make it stick. I still recall your poem about the red multi-eyed demon in high school which was your alarm clock. The image is more than 20 years old, but it sticks. I recall your poem about your daughter’s stare underwater years after reading it.

    You can turn small things into memorable/beautiful things. 🙂

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