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Not long ago, I was talking to someone who was considering a move. Eventually the conversation circled to a subject I was trying to avoid – a wondering about ‘where are you going to put all your stuff?’ The person I was talking with is from a different generation, one accustomed to formal living and dining rooms (a piano nobody played). The thought of moving from a house to apartment was agonizing for her, but my gut can’t help but wonder, ‘if you aren’t using two of the rooms you have now, how much will it really hurt? Maybe someone will actually sit on that twenty year old sofa.’ ;)
But it got me to thinking (as I surely do) about the things we keep, and how tightly we wind ourselves with preconceived notions of what is right, wrong, or remotely acceptable.
Last year, a friend asked, ‘what color are your dishes?’ I think she was wanting to embroider some dishtowels for me, or something similar. My response likely caught her by surprise, ‘it depends on which one is on top’. Matching dishes seems as logical as ‘the good silver’ or ‘the guest towels’. If you need a towel, take whatever you’d like. My personal favorite is one I took from the Embassy Suites in Boston some fifteen years ago. What matters to me is that I like it. Coffee cups? I have a few that match (in case anyone who is into that type of stuff comes by), but generally, I have a shelf of my favorites. One of the things that makes them such is the fact that they don’t match.
One has been cracked and put back together almost as many times as I have.
I can’t believe we need that many rules to live. In fact, if we love, I’m convinced the rest somehow works itself out.
I sometimes drive with the windows down (even in winter), and I love pepper on cantaloupe. I don’t wear white sandals (before or after Easter), and can’t recall ever a time I bought shoes to match a dress. Barefoot seems to work with almost everything I love, and if it doesn’t, well, I have no problem figuring out which feels the most right.
In fact, I’m hoping to get rid of a few suits in my closet this weekend. It’s possible I might need them again, but I’m more concerned that some well-meaning soul will bury me in one someday.
My students worry over whether it’s best to have a two page or a three page resume. The answer isn’t so hard – whatever works. The same goes for our lives. I find it funny that most people gum up their lives with concern over what to serve for dinner, rather than an understanding that it is quite possibly the least important thing. To be honest, some of the best meals I’ve had were sitting on the back tailgate of a pick-up truck, or pulled from a wire coat hanger hung over a roaring fire. The rules for decorum and style were the absolute last thing considered.
The rich never had it so sweet.
As with all of my ‘best’ memories and moments, there’s one common theme – love. When love was/is the most important thing, I’m most comfortable, even if means trading fine linens for cheap paper towels. Maybe (for me), truth resides in something far deeper than pockets.
Along the same lines, I’ll readily admit that I’m a less than perfect housekeeper. But if someone is visiting to see my house, I’d prefer they be so offended they never return. If there are crumbs on the counter, I’ve found an amazing remedy – turn off the lights and go to the porch.
There’s always room for the stars.
. . .
of ways I’ve known
worn down by years -
and promises of time
to bring me home
the long way back -
don’t need a map to know
the cool of dirt
beneath my feet -
rains to wash me clean
night birds sing to silence
. . .