We are going to do some cleaning and purging and rescuing in my mom’s garage this week. I have green dots and red dots for things to go or stay…for good. If not for this week (years in the making) this space would be prototype for an episode of Hoarders.

As I thought of project and the stories sure to come, I was reminded of this original post. I offer it back as head and heart prep for the time ahead.


March 26, 2012


I took a bunch of stuff to Goodwill tonight. Bags of clothes and boxes of things. Things from a life before. Things that needed a new home.

There is an emotional stew that accompanies the journey from pile to trunk through the drive and into the outstretched arms of a volunteer on the loading dock. Jeans worn through later years with kids in the woods and on the beaches and playtime with the Wonder Dog. Lamps that threw light on a thousand books that opened or closed or then reopened my mind and my soul. Art that seemed to strike a chord of relevance at the time or whose colors worked nicely with the pillows on the old worn leather couch (also going) or the dining set or just because they said something. Shoes and t-shirts that like tree bark represent eras and philosophical shifts and attempts at identity.

And yes, the books themselves. Those paper works that absorbed the oil of my hands. Pages torn and bent and highlighted and underlined and noted. My teachers. My silent debate partners. My friends. My enemies and allies. My muses.

Knick Knacks of all type. Some that had meaning and others whose motivation for collecting completely escapes me. Fewer of them made the journey to Goodwill than were packed originally. With each touch and turn a memory would trace its way back. I smiled. I cried a bit. I stood and put one here and there on my bookshelf or on a table or back in the box pulled from its attic home. A pause in the proverbial handoff of an heirloom. These inanimate things have so much life. Ghosts in their own right. Speaking to me as they were toted and offered to another. Reminding me that like photographs and cards and rings and other things all had a place in my history. Haunting me now that I know I have left them. Tonight sitting on metal shelves in rows with like kind, awaiting their next caretaker. My hope is that the things worn will warm a body. My hope is that other things warm hearts as they surely did for me once before. New day. New era. I’m not afraid of ghosts. Visit me as you will. Finish the journey with me…with others whose life I hope you touch.

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