{scraps of things from the pocket of an old coat}

Sunday, May 1, 2011

divinity in decluttering

there really is something of a reverent feel to space once it has been stripped of it's extraneous *stuff*. and as i carted bags to the car for donation and armloads to the curb for Goods Exchange Day, i felt a lightness descending. which is both literal and metaphorical.

lessons in non-attachment are hard ones for me - i am, by nature, rather nostalgic and having a mother who was occasionally ruthless in her disposal of my childhood treasures - i tend to hang onto stuff that is just that, 'stuff' - forgetting that the memories are in my heart and don't need the physical object to remain....

~*~

a memory....

I had a ride-on dog that I'd named Clive. He was a bloodhound, i think...and had lovely spongy droopy ears and I would trundle about the neighbourhood on him, scuffing my shoes and wearing holes in the legs of my trousers by getting them stuck in his wheels. (this was the 70's after all...I'm sure if I hadn't been wearing bell-bottoms it wouldn't have been an issue.). And as much-loved toys often do, he became really quite worn. I don't remember him as such, but this is what I've been told. His tail had fallen away...the sponge becoming disengaged from the spring inside and the tread on his wheels were worn making him rattle and bounce. So it was decided that he was too tired and he was place unceremoniously on the rubbish heap -- from which I repeatedly removed him. I vaguely recall plotting to run away and hide him. But, being the child I was, I gave him up...despite the grief being as real as if he'd been alive. Which, in most ways, he was to a small, imaginative girl who always wanted a dog of her own but wasn't allowed one.

I've never forgotten Clive -- and because of him, very little that has been donated or sent to the recyle/reuse pile belongs to my children -- and of the things that did, all were given freely and with their blessing. It's a small thing -- and it means we still probably have more *stuff* than we need -- but at least they know that their treasures matter.

~*~

a few years ago, the story of Clive came up at a family gathering. enough time has passed that we can joke about it and my mom even apologized for throwing him out and so all is forgiven. but it's interesting to me to see how our experiences frame the way we parent our own children and how, despite (for all intents and purposes) having a wonderful childhood, i want my own kids to have a much different one.

i think that's why the space left by the removing of the *stuff* today, contains a crisp, white energy and not one filled with the tears of loss. indeed, there is a touch of the divine in this.

4 comments:

David Allen Waters said...

I so understand this...I am so attatched in memory to things. I have even allowed them(things) to keep me in a state of stillness...I kept my mums house just the way she had left it for three yrs, I found myself as time passed getting lower and lower in depression...a friend suggested I cleanse the space of things, only keeping things molst dear to me, I did, slowly at first, it has been a year now and I can not believe how depression lifted the more I cleared the space....things are wonderful, but I agree it can be theraputic sometimes to rid oneslef of them...

love this post dear friend :)

sarah said...

this is such a lovely perspective :-)

melissa said...

beautiful post. thank you for reminding me of the importance of keeping things too.

Rose said...

It always has to be when we are ready to let go. Decluttering at the wrong time is just wrong, but when it is done with intent and all parties joining in, then it is different. F and I are so with you right now, our bedroom has gone from being cluttered in the extreme to just containing a bed right now and I love it so much more like this....

I had a pair of pink trousers that were called my disrespectables that were well worn and patched and slowly shrinking up my legs. My Mum eventually threatened to chuck them if she saw me wearing them once more and so I hid them. But the bond was cut and eventually I threw them out myself....