I’ve seen quite a few bits and bobs recently sniping about Marie Kondo, the Japanese decluttering expert. People have been loudly hailing the virtues of keeping their mountains of stuff, and insisting the first item they would get rid of would be Kondo’s book, the Life Changing Magic of Tidying. Well, each to their own, but for me the Kondo method has made huge sense and created a pleasing feeling of serenity in a house shared by six people, many of them teenagers (either in years or in attitude). Not that anyone except me rolls T shirts into tidy stacks, but I find quite a lot of pleasure in doing it and I absolutely love putting things into rainbow order. I was hugely jealous to see that Marie Kondo actually did her first session in a British home last month and sob, it wasn’t mine. Having said that, I’m not sure I will be buying her new book, Spark Joy. I had a look at it in a bookshop the other day and it seemed quite similar to the first one. I reluctantly put it back on the shelf. My only consolation was that Marie herself would completely understand.
Talking of backlashes, I saw the other day that there have been reports of people having psychotic interludes after mindfulness workshops. I sometimes feel I could work up quite an effective psychotic episode about the price of organic eggs in the supermarket, so maybe outbreaks of madness are not as uncommon as you would think, but this was a bit scary, as there can be little less psychotic than sitting still and breathing. After my initial scepticism I did persist with mindfulness, and I am trying as best I can to incorporate it into my daily routine. It’s not always easy to rope off half an hour for a full ‘mountain pose’ though, I can tell you.
Maybe these backlashes are just evidence of the contrariness of the British character. We can’t be enthusiastic about something for long before our passion turns to disappointment, resentment and anger. Maybe we should have a backlash against backlashes. What do you think?