As you probably know by now, one of my favorite books is Little Women. One of my all time favorite characters is Jo March. She is an incredible free spirit, with a fiery ambition which allowed her to do some pretty incredible things, in a completely carefree manner, at a time when women were not allowed to do much more than be a good wife and raise proper children. There’s a line in the movie (and I’m not sure if its in the book) with Winona Ryder where she says rather wistfully,
“ah, I should have been a great many things, Mr. __”.
I love that line – don’t we all think that very thing through many stages of our life? But do we ever stop to consider the clutter we’ve accumulated that has kept us from being a great many things?
Around January, we talked about New Years Resolutions and the things we wanted to change about ourselves. Well, now its time for some consideration in regards to not just the Spring Cleaning of our physical environment, but also our inner selves – getting rid of the emotional and mental clutter. You know, the things that have kept us from being the great many things we should have been.
One of my favorite movies is Practical Magic, with Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman. There’s a scene towards the end where the group of women (an ad hoc coven) get together to help Nicole Kidman exorcise the nasty boyfriend’s spirit from her body. After the exorcism, life is happy and lovely and very fairytale-ish. This is really sort of metaphoric for all of us – it may not be a nasty boyfriend, but we all have some experience we need to exorcise. There’s a line in this scene about doing some spring cleaning. I love that line but never really thought about it until very recently. In the movie, the character is talking about sweeping out all the dust on the floor left by the exorcism. However, I think that whole exorcism was much more than what we normally consider Spring Cleaning – it was getting rid of the clutter that was holding Jillian back.
The coven helped Jillian (Kidman) rid herself of the clutter (the nasty abusive ex-boyfriend) that had consumed her. Isn’t that what we do when we Spring Clean? Rid our homes of the clutter that consumes us? We sift through the old stuff, the clutter, and get rid of it. We clean our house. But how often do we consider cleaning our soul – our being – our self? Over the years, I’ve forgotten that spring cleaning isn’t just about the physicality of life – your home or your filing cabinet at work. It also includes getting rid of the clutter that is keeping you from becoming the person you may yet become.
That said, with the generosity of the Hachette Book Group, I am offering five sets of books to five winners in the Old Musty Books Spring Cleaning Giveaway. The following five books range from cleaning the house to getting rid of the clutter in your life:
- My Little Red Book By Rachel Kauder Nalebuff ISBN: 0446546364
- See Jane Lead By Lois Frankel ISBN: 0446698113
- Galway Bay By Mary Kelly ISBN: 0446579009
- Mistress Bradstreet By Charlotte Gordon ISBN: 0316169048
- Dream in Color By Linda Sánchez , Loretta Sánchez , Richard Buskin , Nancy Pelosi ISBN: 0446508047
- Kiss Off By Mary Esselman , Elizabeth V?lez ISBN: 0446690287
- Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven By Susan Gilman ISBN: 0446578924
- Put Your Dreams First By Thembisa S. , Vanessa Williams ISBN: 0446409464
As always, you have to share something to be entered into this giveaway. To tie this into books and reading, I want to know from you:
The name of one character (and the name of the book) that you wanted to be like, and for extra consideration, tell me why. (on your own, please consider what is it that has held you back from being like this character. Is it time for some spring cleaning?)
The usual restrictions apply – you must live in the United States or Canada and no P.O. Boxes please. This giveaway will expire on March 31, 2009.
Good luck to everyone and I look forward to hearing your submissions.