Clearing, De-Cluttering … Claiming, in a New Year

At the beginning of this new year, I am in the throes of cleaning / purging / clearing.  It feels a bit like an obsession.  As Lady Macbeth would say, “Out, damn’d spot! out, I say!” Out old things, scratchy things, faded things, cracked things, things I never liked.  As I dig deeper, I toss things I’d kept from lifetimes ago, old scripts, old letters, old mementos. Good Lord, I found a plastic fish from my stint on a “River Runs Through It!”  Out to recycling, out to trash, out to the Salvation Army.

Room by room, closet by closet, drawer by drawer, ruthlessly I toss.

I throw out an entire drawer full of maps and folders of information Mike would gather before our trips.  I don’t dare look too closely as I don’t want to get mired in the memories of the places we’d been together, the life we’d shared.  They are only maps, only paper, so out they go.

Inspired, I go for another pass. Is there more I can throw away?  More clothes I don’t wear? More things I don’t need? More space to be had?  Where else can I make room for my own making?

In the process, I come to the cupboard filled with photos.  And into the fray I go, as I toss photos of people I don’t know, fuzzy photos, duplicate photos, ten photos of my daughter when she turned one year old.  It feels almost sacrilegious to throw away photos but how many photos do I need? Onwards.

I pause for a moment to consider putting items on Craig’s list, or eBay, try to make a few bucks.  But then I think, heck no. No delays, keep it moving, get the stuff out of the house.

But in the clearing, I also find treasures, things forgotten, memories rekindled.  I discover gifts brought into the light that had been buried under a pile of stuff. I find love letters from Mike, letters from my Dad, also gone, cards from old friends. I put them into a special envelope, tuck them into my dresser drawer, where I’ll have them to read again.

I am keenly aware of Mike’s things as I reach for them, his faded red jacket, his sunglasses, his shaving kit. This year, I find I am able to let more of them go, they no longer have the same hold.

I take his Hawaiian shirts, which hung with my clothes in the closet last year, and tuck them gently in a drawer – still close to my heart, but now a little further away.

I discover a beautiful photo of him and hang it on the wall.

I continue to find my way with having him, loving him, holding him, letting him go.  It is a delicate dance.

At some point there will be nothing left to toss, and I will find myself in the aftermath of the hurricane – when all is quiet, all is still, and I am left with myself and the future I am walking into.

At some point there will be no more distractions of stuff.  It will be time to settle, drop in … claim … the life I want to have.

The shelves are clear, the drawers are empty, the floor is wide open.  Look, my Darling, there is so much room to dance.

 

 

NEWSLETTER

Want To Stay Connected?

View All

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *