Firstly, thank you: for your kind and enthusiastic and kindly enthusiastic responses to my last post. I am particularly heartened that people seem to like my scribbled poetry notes. These little fragments are where I feel most at home creatively and I look forward to rambling about them at length in the future.
For now, though, I’ve been thinking about the long, slow process of cleaning out my childhood home, which took place over the last couple of years – firstly in a big, focused burst, and then in dribs and drabs and trickles and whimpers. It was full of sadness and joy and reminiscence and teeth-grinding and head-shaking and many more things besides. We moved around a lot in the first few years of my life and I have blurry memories of that time, but the year I turned five, my parents bought the one and only house they would ever own, and proceeded, over the next 50-some years, to fill it with kids and memories and obscure family sayings and stuff. So much stuff.
I’m sure they threw plenty of things away over that time. They were sensible people, after all. A little quirky, sure, but then again, aren’t we all? They made conscious choices about what to keep – things that were useful, or might be some day, even if in some as-yet unimaginable way; things that had once been useful but were now broken but might be fixed at some future point or repurposed, possibly in some as-yet unimaginable way; things that had sentimental value or might have one day, depending on what events transpired in your life or the kind of person you turned into or a million and one other variables. Things that sparked joy or rage or indifference or even just a raised eyebrow and a mischievous line of thought: Hmmm, I don’t know what this is for and the kids won’t either. I will attach a label to it that says “MYSTERY OBJECT” and use it to bamboozle people.Continue reading