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EJ Koh@thisisEJKoh 6 Jan 2014

You study, study, study, and at the end, you are lucky enough to discover the greatest gift of education: that you know nothing at all.

This quote- found on Twitter- inspires me. I love to study. I think education is the way out of many of life’s dilemmas. And-I love books. Recently after reading Marie Kondo’s book- ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up ‘. I was doing a fine job of clearing out clothing and shoes. I was even good with getting rid of home décor items, no longer used, no longer wanted, no longer beautiful to me. Then I was directed to clear out books and magazines.

I have an entire wall of books floor to ceiling. Marie Kondo says to bring every book into the same room, then take every book off the shelves, put them on the floor and go through them. Touch each book to see if you feel anything- if any of the books ‘spark joy’. If they don’t? Discard. Honestly I did find some that I no longer need or want, but not many. I went back to the book and re-read her instructions. Ms. Kondo says, no one needs that many books. True. But what I had missed was this- ‘only scholars and authors’. What a relief! I am certainly not fully in either category, certainly not at the level of EJ Koh, Korean poet and translator!

However, Ms. Kondo’s test beyond keeping or discarding is this: keep only the ones that ‘spark joy’ or that you re-read. It is amazing how many I re-read.  I am a lifelong learner. If I am interested in a subject – I study up on it . I am educated but I don’t have the degrees of an educator, unfortunately.

Nowadays, with search engines- anyone, scholars or humble learners like me, can quickly reference any subject known to mankind. Yet with all of my reading and the joy it brings, I have come to the same conclusion as EJ Koh- The greatest gift of education is the knowledge that I know nothing at all.

What I know for sure, is from the oft repeated phrase:

‘We are human beings, not human doings.’

What we do with our lives is not even half as important as what we become.

Love y’all, Camellia

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The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

*This post is for Day 7 of Everyday Inspiration- WordPress Blogging University

And this song speaks to the heart and soul of this post! By Alison Krauss- ‘You Say it Best, When You Say Nothing at All’…

Sparks of Joy…


One of Alabama’s first governors was named Chauncey Sparks, my grandmother’s maiden name was Sparks, the owner of the old Birmingham Barons baseball team was called Sparks DeMent. Both noun and verb- sparks- could describe all three of these individuals. Yet I suppose my favorite definition is a ‘glimmering particle’ which imparts an emotion. This is what New York Times bestselling author, Marie Kondo speaks of so eloquently in her two books, ‘the life changing magic of tidying up’ and ‘spark joy’. I have read the first- the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing, all the way through and have finished most of what she suggests. All throughout she speaks of keeping ‘whatever sparks joy’ and discarding what doesn’t. I found her writing style so charming- she could be a southern girl the way she says- ‘tidying up’! Everything we do here is ‘up’…’clean up, make up, mess up, mop up, wash up’…! Marie Kondo is a successful smart lady from Japan. Her methods really work.  I have dipped in and out of her second book, ‘spark joy’ , but somehow until I finish all of the tasks in the first book, I cannot move on to the ‘master class’ in next one. That’s how powerful Ms. Kondo’s books are! They spark something inside me that I know is true, they inspire me because I have glimmering particles of joy each time I look on my bookshelves, in my closet and drawers which have been the recipients of her advice! Take a peep inside a few of my drawers, they were done months ago. I realize there are enough striped shirts to outfit the Royal Navy, but my drawers have stayed organized just like she suggests. Better yet? I can find things, I can put things back, I like what’s in there and it truly does ‘spark joy’ when I look in those drawers!

Now, I know writing about peeping inside a lady’s drawers alongside the words – ‘grandmothers, governors and baseball barons’ is scandalous especially in Alabama, but Marie Kondo’s books are just too full of ‘sparks of joy’ not to shamelessly let you in on it! I hope you will read them both and let me know what you think.

Love y’all, Camellia  ‘the life changing magic of tidying up’ by Marie Kondo ‘spark joy’ by Marie Kondo