Things seem to be bubbling and brewing. Rumblings of war, commentators warning of big events being imminent.
And yet, in the house, quietude reigns. The cats snooze, the humans doze. Once I remove myself from the insistent poke of devices, email and chat, Internet sages offering truths…there is nothing but a vast hollow filled with light.
I sometimes wonder if all the external hoopla is, for me, nothing more than a pathway inward.
My internal landscape includes that which immediately surrounds me and affects me by proximity. People and pets. The rooms of the house. The cavernous garage. And spreading outward to the perimeter of the lot.
All that is my purview and my responsibility.
And all that is the only place where I appear to have some control of my external world.
I’m still in the process of decluttering and clearing out stuff we don’t want anymore.
I’ve noticed that the easiest things to put in the donation bag are the more recent acquisitions. Those candleholders from Ross that never quite looked right. A carousel of glittering gel pens for the artwork I never do.
I’m down to the last corners in the garage. The final frontier of ancient possessions, some hauled around for decades.
On one large, lidded box there is a label that simply says, “BR light (Cassidy).”
This contains a beautiful antique ceiling light that graced my room at Cassidy‘s place. Once it was cleaned of dust and cobwebs, it was a lovely shedder of light in my teenage bedroom.
I’ve toted that fixture around from apartment to house to apartment to house, never finding the perfect ceiling for it.
Even knowing I might never find a place for it, I was unwilling to let it go.
This is the first time I’ve seriously contemplated loading this albatross into the trunk and driving it over to the Assistance League shop.
It’s a part of my history. Those years of my life, living at that house, were not pleasant in many ways. Why would I even want to keep such a memento?
Other than the bits and bobs of childhood stashed here and there, I don’t have an overwhelming amount of gewgaws. Porcelain objects and pewter collectibles are easy to tuck away and forget. They provide easy fodder for future forays into decluttering.
But this clunky file box with the Cassidy light has been like an anchor all these years, pulling me down into the past. Not only that, it’s awkward to store and ugly to behold, the box sooty from exposure to car exhaust and wildfire smoke.
I haven’t even opened it to see if the fixture is still intact.
I almost don’t want to look. I want to keep the illusion.
In contemplating the release of an old object, it seems to parallel a willingness to release not just newer but more ancient trapped emotions. The near-surface emotions, from last week or last year, pop right up to wave goodbye. Like the Ross candlesticks, I have little attachment to them. These emotions are accessible, shallow-rooted weeds to pull from the garden of me.
The long-buried emotional traumas are harder to get to. They are so old and embedded it’s like they’ve woven themselves into the pattern of my body and twined through the vast spaces between the atoms that comprise me.
It seems like disentangling this emotional detritus from the healthy whole of me is a near-impossible endeavor.
I lift the lid to reveal Cassidy‘s light. Poking and peering through the grimy bubble wrap, I see unbroken frosted globes delicately painted with blue wildflowers.
The metal supporting structure is undented. The links of the hanging chain hold together.
This ancient albatross can grace the ceiling in another’s home. Its proud new owner will never know its history and in a new home, it can shed new light.
And who knows what intangible release this might provide for me? The objects we possess can possess us.
I look forward with a slightly nervous anticipation to driving to the thrift store and placing this tangible piece of my past into the care of another.
It’s not something I want, or need, anymore.