Clearing Space


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 …

4 Comments on “Clearing Space

  1. Loved every word! Your 4 quarter theory happening naturally at 89 made me laugh … life. I recently purged many crazy keepsakes like yours. I remember every reason I’d saved it, took a picture if I needed too, and moved many along. Handling things jogged my memories, and reading cards and journals made me look at how far I’d come. Your are an artistic inspiration … keep on keep’n on!!!

    • It is a loving process for sure. I hope to have a winter of reflection. I also hope I can do like you … snap a photo and let the “stuff” go. Thank you so much for reading ♡

  2. Space is incredibly important.

    A favorite quote about space: Space is more valuable than stuff, brimming with possibilities. We ignore it because it’s invisible, but it’s as essential as air. –Francine Jay

    • Touche’ I love that. Too much stuff creates unnecesary anxiety. It’s a process, for sure, to clear it out. I always hoped I was saving things that someone would want but I know better now. Thanks for sharing THIS space ♡

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