Housekeeping Note: Delotherapy


Ever since I was in the sixth grade, I’ve seen psychotherapists on and off — mostly on. Two questions: what’s wrong with me? And: isn’t it late in the day for repairs?

Hopeless questions — and beside the point. These days, I want a therapist more than ever. Not a psychotherapist, though. What I want is a delotherapist. (I have just made up the term, using a handy Internet Greek dictionary that is undoubtedly a dangerous thing for ignorant minds like mine.) In English: a clear doctor. Someone who would help me to navigate my day.

I don’t mean one of those organizers who come in and tell you to throw everything out. I can do that on my own. Well, not entirely on my own. LXIV has been a great help at getting me to cart stuff that I can live without to Housing Works. We made a couple of trips yesterday, in fact. First we took about twenty books. Then we lugged in some inherited items: two large wooden urns and a pair of gilt candlesticks.

No, I mean an Information Therapist. Someone to whom I could pour out my troubles with email, RSS feeds, Flickr, Facebook and The New York Times (print and digital). The weedy tendencies of these utilities seems at times to choke off more valuable growths. By habit, I am not a procrastinator. But I have a hard time switching focus between the long and the short view of things. I think that almost everyone does. A lot of time gets wasted in the shift from mastering some new technological widget to placing the Mumbai massacre in an intelligent perspective.

On Sunday, in the middle of a massive and really very successful reorganization of our apartment’s closets — I can’t believe that I got so much done! — my vocabulary and reading-comprehension skills dropped below kindergarten levels. With my mind locked into solving spatial problems, I was reduced, in my infrequent and somewhat subhuman exchanges with Kathleen, to grunting and pointing.

A session on the couch would be so helpful! First I’d have to clear it off, though. It’s completely covered with piles of books and papers.