Sometimes I sit back and find myself just looking at my desk and it’s environment. Well, it is an environment. I think it even has it’s own weather system.

It is the dominant feature of my room. A huge wooden teacher’s desk that spent most of its life as a work space for some professor at Tulane University. I like to think he or she was a Nobel Laureate – I am not even sure Tulane has one – or at least a popular teacher revered by students and envied by his or her peers.

It has a three inch hole in the so-called modesty panel. It looks like it could have been put there by a disgruntled student whose work was unjustly judged to be found wanting. The hole faces the wall so it is not an issue.

I both love and hate this wooden behemoth. I like wooden stuff, but the drawers are difficult to open and close. However, the desk, in all its nooks and crannies, holds a ton of my stuff. And I have it stuffed. It’s huge. It’s top is a wonderful place to keep things.

One of my favorite things to do, once every three or four years, is to actually clean it off leaving only my computer, keyboard, mouse and writing pad. At heart I am a minimalist. In practice, I am a certified pack-rat – slob. I love clean and uncluttered. I practice what I lovingly call functional clutter. I can shut my eyes and put my hand on anything I want. The minute I file everything away and get rid of all the garbage, I am lost and disoriented.

I am looking now at a stack to my left of items that need attending to immediately. It is six weeks old at least. Beyond that is my blood pressure machine and file box that has in it items that are several years old. I just noticed a set of earbuds which I can not use because of my hearing aids but which are nevertheless still on my desktop. I’ve been wearing these hearing aids for three years. There is a tape dispenser, two iPods, a USB interface for my microphone, a book of stamps and a remote for my computer. I have a Steen’s Pure Cane Syrup can full of pens and pencils I never touch. There are two external hard drives to which I back up my data, my microphone on a swing arm stand, (This looks real professional), a 20′ headphone extension, a box of Kleenex some packing tape and a cup of coffee.

Behind the computer – well you don’t even want to look.

I fully intend to do something about all this mess. I’ll do it during the first really good snow storm this winter. Drink a pot of darkroast and listen to some of that soft 70’s rock and roll. When I’m done I’ll have five minutes of pure minimalism.

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