I am ensconced on the little salmon sofa.
In Zalman's recliner chair to my left, Mazal is curled up asleep. On the heating pad covered with a blanket at my right hip, Bracha is dozing.
Two people came to my class tonight---a very intimate group. Earlier, I began already clearing, preparing to enter the major cleaning for Pesach. I know that officially, just the chometz of food must be removed, or sequestered and sold for the duration of Pesach. This year, I seem to see all the "muchness" as excess, a chometz of another sort: clothes that now hang on me; high-heeled shoes that I will never walk in again; books, books, books; yarn that I had intended to knit into vests or sweaters or kippot for Zalman, and am uninspired to use for myself; food items bought on sale that are still on the shelves. Actually, most of the excess was bought on sale---lest it someday be needed; the lingering habits from growing up with little money. Now, I am increasingly uncomfortable with having more than I need, although I myself accumulated it as a hedge against possibly hard times.
Which leads to the internal chometz that would be so good to sweep out of me before Pesach---And just like the crumbs in the kitchen, I find traces of those very same qualities that I had banished, returned and robust the very next year.
This morning, with help, I continued the archeological excavation of the desk in my study. I don't know how people ever stay caught-up; the influx never stops. And the presence of the internet only exacerbates the feeling of always being behind. The good part was finding all those paper reminders of kind or generous or funny interchanges.
Zalman never stressed over these preparations; he just did them. Every year.
Maybe our efforts to banish the personal chometz can have some influence on the larger societal chometz?
Wishing everyone a good shabbos.