I’m getting deeper into the stuff that has come with us to where we are now. It’s like an archaeological dig through my life. In the course of this process I’ve found shards, dust, and a store of pictographs and script and various totems marking principles and wisdoms learned and mileposts on my path.
There are old plans, documentation, photos and thank you notes from customers of our remodeling company, which we operated for over two decades. Things I couldn’t part with yet include the letters from people we served, expressing appreciation and in several cases more than that – expressions of friendship, and gratitude for who we are and how we live.
I came across several hand-drawn residential remodeling addition project plans which seemed beyond me – but I know I really did do them. I was – and am – a builder of things, and I give it my all, and it’s good to remember that from time to time, so I kept three of the plans. I also kept some photos of jobs in progress and after they were complete. The projects themselves are our legacy to our area, and the quality of life enhancements they created in the homes of others are generally still in service today, serving others.
The photographs are a real weight right now, there are so many of them! The next step there is to sort them according to where they belong, mostly to family members. After that I will cull chaff and duplicates, then sort them chronologically, and file them – although why I really don’t know, other than that when I am gone I think it would be nice if at least one other person spent a little time reviewing the pictorial record of my life. It seems a bit of a conceit, but it’s my conceit and I’m not discomfited in owning it, so that’s the plan for now.
There is also a great stack of art prints, posters, and miscellaneous visual arts as well as a large collection of frames to deal with. That will come soon.
What’s proven to be a wonderful part of this process is coming across things I haven’t seen in years. I haven’t gone too deep, but I have old archives of things I saved other than photographs. Notes, newspaper clippings, cards – each with a memory, some marking a lesson learned, a friend made, a wisdom found. Here are a couple of clipped cartoons that I found on the top of a pile of collected scraps I took out and have on my desk right now.
I originally clipped this cartoon because the parrot reminded me of how I felt in a relationship that lasted about a year. Eventually I flew out a window and was able to speak again. It also reminded me of what happens to us as children when the mechanisms of our social order begin to inform us of who and what we should be, and how and where, and how those influences tend to “cure” us of being who we really are and living and speaking that.
This cartoon is related to the first for me, although upon seeing it again I suppose it could also be taken as a conservative Christian statement about the sentiments which espouse the wrongness of the theory of evolution. I took it as a way of saying that – for me – dressing up myself, or the bumper of my car, in the sign of a fish, and wearing that costume to climb up to heaven using the ladder of a religious organization doesn’t work. What works is simply staying in touch with that thing which is simultaneously larger than myself, and is me; God, Nature, The Tao, The Universe, Creation, Humanity, and so forth.
More to come.