Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Out With the Old!
So last night at Journal Group, Allison told us about a practice she's trying out for the next month: every day she goes through her house and selects one object to get rid of. To help her let go of the object, she draws it and writes about it in a notebook. I especially loved her drawing and story about her ancient and beloved bedroom slippers that she had worn an actual hole in the sole of. Alison's practice reminded me of one that another friend, Ann Turkle, wrote about in Real Life Journals (a.k.a. Journal Your Way). She has a journal devoted to drawings and writings about pieces of furniture and other heirlooms that she needed to get rid of for lack of space. Having the journal allowed her to maintain something of the family stories that the objects reminded her of.
Well, I decided that today's drawings would be six things that I need to get rid of AND that I will put out on the curb for recycling or composting or whatever the recycling crew wants to do with them THIS THURSDAY. It was easy to select the winners: three handbags and three pairs of shoes, most of which I have not used even once in the past three or four years; yet I've held on to them for various lame reasons.
At the top of the left page is a knitted bag that I bought in Ireland at a sweet little handicraft center in 2003 or 4. It's a pretty bag, but the first time I used it, for extra luggage on my return trip from Ireland, I discovered its fatal flaw: its strap grows slowly but alarmingly when weight is put into the bag. Walking with it through the airport I began to realize it was slapping against my knees and then my calves. I tried knotting the knitted strap to no avail. It has an amazing capacity to stretch and grow. Since then it has hung empty in my closet, just in case I discover a way to shrink the strap back to its original length and keep it that way.
Below the growing bag is a small orange Tombow bag that I used to really like. Then I somehow needed something slightly bigger, but the orange bag was still good; so I saved it in case I ever decided to stop carrying a large phone and a sketchbook around with me. In last summer's dampness it grew such a fuzz of mildew that it would be a major effort to clean it; and I still need something bigger.
At top right is a beautiful caramel colored leather bag that I bought in the little town of Fabro in Italy about six Novembers ago. I loved it for its leather, but the shape was awkward, and it soon joined the other unused bags in the closet. I held onto it because I had paid so much for it, and I kept hoping it might suddenly seem to be exactly what I wanted; but it never has done that.
At bottom right is a very old pair of cinnamon-colored suede Naots. I loved them when I bought them, but they never were as comfortable as I wanted them to be; so they were always second-string shoes. And now they're fifth string, so out they are going, pretty color and all!
Here are two more pairs of shoes. The sandals at the top are light orange Earth shoes. I thought they looked good, and I believed that they would soften up and feel good after I wore them around a bit. But they never did soften up and so they have spent most of their long life in the closet. And at the bottom are my trusty barefoot shoes, Merrells, with their little toe pads, that feel so wonderful and feather-weight, hardly like shoes at all. I've worn them out, summer and winter, for hiking and around town and going out to eat and working. They have popped stitches and a great deal of mould and dirt worn into them. They actually deserve a burial with full honors.