“Never leave a room empty-handed,” she would often say to me, meaning that there’s always a glass in the living room that needs to be taken to the kitchen sink, a magazine in the bedroom that has to be returned to the living room, and so on. She taught me how to be orderly and how to clean house efficiently…
“…When my stepfather, Lars, bought the Théâtre de Montparnasse in Paris, my mother rushed in to clean it. “That poor house-keeper,” she told me, referring to the lady who generally did that job, “she had to work with the dirtiest rag and the most plucked-out broom. How can she do a good job? I told Lars, ‘Make sure she has what she needs. You cannot clean with an unclean rag or sponge; that just lets you spread dirt around — push it a little bit here, a little bit there. It doesn’t help eliminate it….’”
“…I love cleaning. For both Mother and me, cleaning and organizing are soothing, though because it feels good we may do too much of it. It can get obsessive, and we have to watch out for that. My mother even had to go to a doctor — she couldn’t stop cleaning, and everything got a little out of hand. The doctor diagnosed that she was allergic to dust, which is why she felt so strongly about getting rid of it, but I know that wasn’t it…”
She was seeking that “high” that cleaning gives. I know what it feels like; I’m always on the lookout for dust in secret places where I haven’t looked before to see if any has landed there. If I see it, I can’t stop thinking about it until I get rid of it. Dust brings out the hunting instinct in me, and I know I got that from Mamma….”
Allergy? High? Yes, of course, and she was a multiple-conjunct Virgo: Sun, Venus and Mercury.