So now that I have been through the house, examining and weighing the remnants of my parents’ lives, it is time for my own reckoning.
Yesterday I started in my corner of the garage. Several Rubbermaid bins have been sitting there since I moved from Rochester to Oregon. The three or four that I went through (those bins not buried under hypertufa supplies and my Oriental rug) still yielded paperwork to be shredded and things to add to the giveaway piles. I brought my silverware into the house to use.
I was surprised at how detached I was as I methodically glanced and tossed. Not wearing my glasses was probably a good idea. Once in awhile something caught my eye, and those few things were placed in a “review” pile.
Though I would prefer “spring” as a metaphor for growth and rebirth, there is change in the air today. I heard Canadian geese this morning, getting an early start. I was hopeful when I heard a brief rain as I woke up, but that was the beginning and the end apparently. The blustery wind has blown the clouds and any chance of rain east for the foreseeable future. Color is creeping through the trees, and we know what’s next. I looked over my curious pile of memories this morning. Change is imminent.
1. In my “office” bin, I found this program from a Bobby McFerrin concert. NEAD, the agency where I worked at the time, gave me two prime tickets for my birthday. I was so appreciative. The people in that office were kind and giving and funny. Everyone was on the same mission and worked as a team. So proud and blessed to have been a part of it.
The letter is from an acquaintance. I felt guilty when I pondered this because I truly had no idea who this person was, yet I am “dearest Glynis.” I finally figured out that he was a friend of a friend whom I met once or twice with my friend in Cleveland. Other than that, I know nothing about him.
The notebooks were entirely different. There were logs from one of my part-time jobs for a market research firm along with, surprisingly, notes to someone I was seeing at the time. I don’t think I ever sent these notes—a good thing, I’m sure. It was upsetting to read some of them because this wasn’t a good time in my life. The words are not angry, but in fact overly caring. It was difficult to read because I know how unhappy I was, and I used all of my strength to cover and push that pain down. Live and learn. Well, sort of.
2. The wine bottle is something I brought back from Oregon. It was in a basket with other more pertinent things. Clients—five brothers--at my wine shop meet in Cannon Beach every year from different parts of the country. They came into the shop and grilled me about wine, did some tasting and talking and bought a couple of bottles for the weekend. As they were leaving town, they stopped in to say goodbye and presented me with a half glass of this premier Bordeaux ($200+ bottle.) I was touched and flattered to be included, and it gave me a little confidence, too. The bottle shattered on the garage floor when I dropped the basket.
In one of the bins I found my father’s sunglasses from the 1960s, which, after he said I could have them, I wore occasionally. He came into the garage just after I broke the bottle. I thought he would be mad that 1. there was glass all over the floor and 2. that it was a wine bottle. Instead he seemed genuinely concerned that I not hurt myself cleaning it up and sorry that I broke something that I valued.
You never know for sure how people will react.
3. This other notebook had a different “theme.” In it I explored different path choices. What was the comparative cost of living in Santa Fe or Taos? What were my skills? My marketable skills? And this page, for some reason left blank. “What I would do if I could do anything.” That is the question, isn’t it?
The framed card is one that sat on my desk in Rochester. It reads, “Your road…is your own.” True again. I find myself trying to determine what I want to do next and where I want to go now, but this time I’m releasing things I don’t want to carry on the next leg of my journey. My road IS my own, and I can DO anything I want. I have figured this out at this point.
Each of us has a path, and, if you’re moving along it, the scenery is always changing. I feel like I’ve been here before, but not. This time around I’ve let go of things, of the past, and am continuing that work. Maybe that’s what this is about: releasing, shedding like fall leaves, finding one’s essence and truth within.