Photo Essay: "There are never enough hours in a day"
In a city, no one has time to sleep. Or declutter, really. Day in, day out, we accumulate things that at the moment, seemed the most important but the moment we get home, the moment we temporarily let go of our daily responsibilities, those things immediately become unimportant, insignificant even, and end up, often, in a tray, in a corner, on a desk, or a store room (if we had time to move it there some random weekend) and start piling up as clutter.
And yet, quite unintentionally, these piles of clutter start to form part of the story of our lives, like the paint drops of a Pollock that seem so random at first sight, so messy and unorganised, layers piled upon layers of what can easily and justifiable described as a mess, all form a multilayers, multi-textured narrative of our lives. Maybe... definitely that is why it is so hard to get rid of clutter. Because it means disentangling our life story.
A pile of clutter cannot be demystified without being changed, or even destroyed. A pile of clutter as it is, as it was left, as it was slowly piled up (composed?) is a form of creation, made in the instantaneous spark of inspiration that screamed, at the time, THIS is how it is best put together. And then it was left alone, and it came to be: the jagged edges, the crossing-lines, the jumble of colours and textures.
But not all clutter are at a standstill - some are constantly changing, evolving and yet structurally, stay the same. While always slightly different, some piles of clutter become familiar over time.
Some piles of clutter remind us of what we have to do, who we have to be, and where we have to go. It reminds me that there is never enough hours in the day to do all the things I want to do. Not enough lives in a lifetime to be all the things I want to be. But the clutter we have in our lives spell out so many possibilities - like a tray of unused letters in a game of Scrabble.
Even if they are all momentary, the familiarity of our own clutter gives us our own identity, our place. Where we leave a clutter, is usually where we feel most at home.
Call it ugly, all this clutter. Call it a mess. Call it unorganised, uncouth, uncivilised, uninteresting or even unnecessary. Call it what you want. I call it home.
23 August 2020, Kuala Lumpur