I’ve been throwing out things and taking things to the Savation Army to recycle. I had my handyman come and put up some new bookshelves so that some books that I love could have pride of place. I have a set of Dickens that my grandfather bought in an estate sale. I never met him but I heard many tales about him. He was a stone mason by trade and later he became a hay and corn merchant. Can you imagine anyone working at those occupations today? After the economic crash of the 1920’s he would go to auctions in some “great houses” and buy things of taste at a price he could afford. One of the things was the set of green-bound Dickens. I dived into them as a child and when we came to Canada, it was one of the few things we brought with us. My father, who was a great one for giving things away used to”lend” a volume now and then so there were a few gaps. People forgot to bring them back much to my mother’s annoyance! Several years ago I managed to spot some old copies of works that were missing in a book sale and now I think I have the complete set. I’m happy to see them set up in my little living room.
The picture above is the very last one my mother painted. It was one of the largest she ever did. Going out with a flurish, I suppose. Only I know the story of how she came by that orchid and I keep it alive. Of course, it can’t be as luxurious as it was fresh from the hothouse chemicals of the florist. It is a little diminished under my loving neglect.
With all my throwing out of objects no longer needed or wanted, I began to wonder what would be left, what would be culled out when I close my eyes. Not a morbid thought, don’t think so, it’s just that there is so much “stuff” with meanings that only one person can hold. Everyone has secret memories connected with various objects, books, paintings. That makes the things magic in a way. I suppose landfills are full of items that have lost their magic.
Better, perhaps to concentrate on the sound of geese overhead or on reciting “It was the schooner Hesperus that sailed the wintry sea.” On laughing with someone or going to see the spring river running away off to the sea