My mother might find a thin gold chain at the back of a drawer, wadded into an impossibly tight knot, and give it to me to untangle. It would have a shiny, sweaty smell, and excite me: Gold chains linked you to the great fairy tales and myths, to Arabia, and India; to the great weight of the world, but lighter than a feather.
I can recall back in 1998, in August of that year, when we had a horrible disaster along the Mexican border in the town of Del Rio. At the time, FEMA was the shining star of the federal government. It's now perceived as many to be the dullest knife in the drawer. Right or wrong, that's the perception.
Average Americans order nonfat decaf iced vanilla lattes at Starbucks and choose from 1,500 drawer pulls at The Great Indoors. Amazon gives every town a bookstore with 2 million titles, while Netflix promises 35,000 different movies on DVD. Choice is everywhere - liberating to some, but to others, a new source of stress.
To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose. And if you no longer need them, then that is neither wasteful nor shameful. Can you truthfully say that you treasure something buried so deeply in a cupboard or drawer that you have forgotten its existence?
When you come to a hotel room, you want it to be grand, functional and beautiful. But you don't want things that are not useful. Sometimes you go to hotels and there are all these frames and pictures of people you don't know, and you end up hiding everything in the drawer, and then housekeeping come and put it out again.