So I went to a writer’s workshop last night to hear Ruth Spiro’s journey–and oh my goodness, what an interesting story AND what fascinating board books she’s written for babies!–and she mentioned the Maker Movement.
Yeah, there’s a movement afoot for people who make things. They have Maker Faires and everything. And it’s not just for inventors. Nope, these faires are for artisans and tinkerers, designers and engineers. Pretty much if you make something, you’re a maker.
Call me crazy, but haven’t we always had makers? You know, people who come up with ideas and then make those ideas happen? We used to call them entrepreneurs or inventors. How is this a new trend? With their own magazine (cleverly titled, MAKE)?
Not a day goes by that I don’t make something, even if it’s just a sandwich. I mean, making is part of the human condition. We make our beds, we make plans, we make cookies, we make babies. And I’ve been pretty darn innovative in all of those activities at one time or another. I call it “making do” but if I’d thought to call it a movement, I might be rich by now.
And then I read in my morning paper about a new book on de-cluttering. It’s called The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, and it’s by Margareta Magnusson. It’s about the kind of cleaning one does late in life (or after a family member dies).
Basically, it’s the kind of cleaning I’ve been doing for the last year and a half. Except I just call it “cleaning up Mom and Dad’s stuff now that they’re gone.” I guess the bottom line here is that one should clean up one’s stuff before dying and save our kids the trouble later.
The problem with that is we’re still using our stuff. Or we do downsize and we try to get our kids to take the stuff we’re not using, like the silver or the china, but they either a. don’t have room for it because they prefer to live in super-expensive, urban, tiny spaces or b. they just don’t want it.
Anyway, that’s not really the point here. The point is, this slim book is apparently so popular it’s about to be published in America. And it’s a book about taking the time to basically throw away most of one’s stuff before one dies so one’s kids don’t have to do it.
Excuse me, but that’s been a time-honored and expected child’s and/or spouse’s job since…well, I guarantee that Cain and Abel argued about what to do with all their daddy’s loincloths. How is that a book now?
First the Maker Movement and now a book about the common sense practice of throwing away stuff. I don’t know whether I’m more annoyed about the craziness of it all–or that I didn’t think of it first.