I spent a gloriously sunny Saturday cleaning. My apartment had gotten to a state that I just couldn’t take anymore. Things weren’t necessarily dirty but still, things weren’t fresh either. It had been driving me crazy all week to be honest and what got me through was the knowledge of the top to bottom scrub that was coming.
But as I cleaned, as I vacuumed and scrubbed and dusted, I thought of all the pieces of me that populate this space.
The scraggy fisherman bust sitting on my windowsill. He once sat in the Connecticut house. Of all the weird, eclectic things to carry with me through life, he’s somehow a cherished object of my childhood. Wrapped around his neck are the prayer beads I purchased in Dharmasala. I have used them at moments of confusion and strife. I have chanted and rocked and cried and considered my path as the burnished wooden beads have passed one by one through my fingers.
Another memento of India sits at the end of my bed. Hand knotted silk on wool. Shades of coral, periwinkle and cream. It is mine. It is me. It is my magic carpet. I love to stand on it and scrunch my toes and think. The soft, plush caress calms me. The touch reminds me of love and sunshine and beauty.
Throughout this space there are bits and pieces of my history. Stories only I know, memories only I hold. Isn’t it funny the objects we hold most dear? The little scraps of nonsense that can mean the most? My fisherman, my pewter turtle, my painted fish that hasn’t had a tail for at least ten years? Are these the pieces of us that we will leave behind? Our artifacts?
Will our children know the stories these objects hold? I doubt that they will care for these objects quite the same way we do. But can anyone? No, each one of us is busy gathering objects and stories and histories of our own.