Clearing Space

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As I begin the long, tedious process of clearing space in our house, I find myself lingering in memory. So many things saved as reminders. Touchstones to a place and/or time in the past. That’s really why we end up with so much “stuff” isn’t it ?

My saving things has never been about their  particular usefulness. For instance, I don’t hoard three hammers because I actually ever use a hammer. I save three hammers because one was my grandfather’s, one was my Dad’s, and one was my first. I’m trying to remember a time I used any of them. I’m quite sure it was to drive a nail into the screaming purple wall of my art room to hang a piece of art that I made. I imagine there are other more appropriate ways to hang art, but I don’t know what they are.

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I went through a period artistically where I sought to transform everyday things into art. I did a series of “sculptures” with old fence (headed otherwise to the landfill) and styrofoam heads that will probably never disintegrate or decompose in any natural way.

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These were officially my “angst years”.

I think it was reflected in what I chose to do creatively. I wonder what I will call these years ahead … ?

More digging revealed very old journals and diaries. I sought to document my life at a very early age. I suppose these were very much “angst years” as well, although the transformative power of those words as a young woman were so much more than that. Writing changed me. I often wonder what might have become of all those tender feelings had I not had the mindfulness to write it all down. I wonder what might have become of me.

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As I became caught in the gears of work and worry as a young adult, writing took a back seat. I wrote occasionally as evidenced by my numerous “starting over” journals, but it didn’t really stick. So much happened and I carried much of it in my heart. I should have written more. I’ve heard it said that “when you know better, you do better.” I see the truth in that. I also see the myriad ways in which the roadblock comes up, the detour deploys…

Over the past few years I have returned to the page. With inspiration from others and encouragement from a handful of people, I have been keeping this blog and writing as often as possible. There is ebb and flow here too. I’ve watched the pages transform into a space I am incredibly proud to call my own. It is an expression of self. It is a roadmap into knowing me. And it is a push toward intention itself.

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There is balance in all things. As my four quarters jingle in my pocket it occurs to me that a similar closing of the circle will happen in my creative spaces too. I need to fully embrace those who have my back and begin to shed the people who don’t. Or can’t. Or choose not to. I tried to explain in detail my “four quarter philosophy” to my 89 year old friend. The more I continue to describe it, the more refined the idea becomes. Trading twenty nickels for four quarters feels like such a natural shift. My friend mused that by 89 it is more of a natural process (closing the circle) and less about intention, but always, always we must find our tribe and love them within an inch of our lives.

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Grateful again for Yoda getting me up and out of the house. In a mere twenty minutes we saw Western hemlock, Western Red Cedar, Grand Fir, salal (beginning its decline to wintering over), the deeply rooted, fire-surviving Bracken Fern , Evergreen Huckleberry, Pacific Madrona, Douglas Fir, Big Leaf Maple, Indian Plum, Vine maple, salmonberry and elderberry.

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Change is afoot. A short walk around Saltwater State Park reminds me that to everything there is a season.

And also a purpose.

Now back to the business of purging …