Thursday, September 15, 2011


It's 12:01 a.m. and I should be in bed. Not just IN bed, but asleep. Not reading, but sleeping! I could have just curled up with a book (right now it's Run River by Joan Didion), but noooo. I felt the need to express myself.

I accomplished something on my list from the other week. I sorted through my jewelry! I got rid of a ton of stuff and filled an entire shoebox of things that I never wear and will soon send them off to my dear friend. These are not terrible things. They are things I used to love. Things my mother used to love. Thing I never wore. Things I forgot I had. Things I can't believe I ever bought in the first place. Things I got as gifts so I have an excuse for not liking them so I shouldn't feel bad about getting rid of them. Things I don't like. Things I don't need. Things, things, things. Now I've gotten to the point where I've repeated the word "things" to the point that it sounds weird and has lost its meaning. And I'm not just talking about jewelry now, am I?

I mean STUFF. Whew... For the most part, it's just that I don't have time for all of it... I don't have space for these things... these objects... materials.... I don't have physical, mental, or emotional space. There's only so many things one can be attached to, but how to choose? It's hard, so I don't choose. I cling. I have a difficult time letting go. I'm a hoarder! No I'm not, but I probably could be. I watched a show on animal hoarding tonight and, among other things, it made me want a bunch of tiny kittens and birds and puppies. That's NOT the point of the show. It made me think of my deceased pets and I got sad. Moving on...

When I was cleaning up my dresser and getting rid of stuff and forcing myself to throw away bobby pins rather than save them (but you always need them!) because they were mixed in with clothing tags and those little plastic things that clothing tags are attached with and dirt and other random bits of stuff, I thought of my childhood bedroom. It was always a mess, but it was my glorious mess. Much like my room today, except that I share it with a guy and he probably hates his life. Anyway, at one point in my childhood I decorated my window with CANDY WRAPPERS. This is not a joke. Someone gave me a pack of some sort of delicious, fruit-flavored, European hard candies that came in these magnificent little classic looking wrappers that made me feel like I was picnicking in the Italian countryside or sitting in some little Parisian cafe. So I saved the wrappers in a box and stumbled across them a few years later and finally one day, flattened them all out and taped them down the side of my window in "rainbow order" of course: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple. And that's where they stayed until I moved out of there at age 17.

I look on my bookshelf and see books that I have owned for years, books I never really had an interest in reading since I got them as gifts or secondhand, and then one day decided to pick up... and I loved them, so now of course I can't let them go. And still, there are books I have owned for years and I still have no interest in reading. It's just that I hope one day I will. And so I think I keep all of these things for hopeful reasons, thinking that one day this piece of clothing will suddenly come back into style or I will shrink down to fit into it again (they've both been known to happen), that this piece of jewelry I never wore will suddenly seem beautiful (it's also happened), and maybe one day I'll actually light that candle or put flowers in that vase or draw in that sketchbook or put that picture in a goddamn frame. More likely I won't. But the hope is there.

And until that hope dies, as it thankfully did for everything that sits in that shoebox this evening, I will be mired in things. In stuff. In materials. In confusion, mostly... But at least I will always have something to read. Or wear. Or give away... Which is probably the best hope for me at this point. Any takers?

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