I missed posting last Sunday because we’ve been cleaning out our two-year monument of shame: our garage. Two years ago, we moved from another house that had a full basement and attic. This current house has almost no storage, save for the garage. So, you guessed it! It’s been full of extras for that time. Add to that two southern, humid summers, and you get a whole lot of yuck. My goal is to have it cleared out before my son’s birthday party since the door is now inoperable and I can’t simply hide the mess anymore. Many items have been relocated to our new storage sheds, but a lot of it simply had to go. My life doesn’t have room for it anymore, however you look at that phrase.
Cleaning out has been at once emancipating and excruciating. I have a painful time separating the significance of my life from my stuff. And, I’m not talking about stuff that indicates status–most of this stuff was worthless, monetarily speaking. I’m talking about personal history and how it’s connected to the physical items that were part of that history. I was surprised to find a box of items that came to me after my mother died. Most of the items were mine, and I was glad to part with them. In fact, I felt a lot of contempt for those things and the years that accompanied them. But, it’s still a long process putting them in the garbage. Other things were not so easy to chuck. I felt so much guilt donating or trashing an item that was given to me by a dear grandmotherly figure or an old friend. What does that say about how I felt or now feel about them? If I let go of this item, will I lose this memory and, in effect, lose the significance of it? Will gutting my house of my possessions streamline my personal history into a wasteland of dream-like, blurry, and meaningless memories? Will it reduce me to an empty woman, void of memories, a shell full of shadows, amnesia-tic and irrelevant?
More to come on this topic.