Saturday, January 19, 2008

Homeward Bound

"It doesn't matter where you live today - trailer, apartment, or a house. You may be rooming in a motel or seeking santuary in a safe house halfway between your past and your future. You may even be without a roof to call your own, camping out on a friend's couch or community cot; held hostage in a palace or pitching a tent on the
dark side of the moon. It doesn't matter. If you're reading this, you're homeward bound."

Sarah Ban Breathnach in "Something More"

I love this quote. It speaks so much about our need for home - for a place to belong. Her point is that we are always thinking about home, and going there, wherever that may be.

I love my house, but this is not my dream house. I will one day live in a different kind of house - something in the Queen Anne style, which is my favorite. Those "painted lady" houses in San Francisco are Queen Anne style houses. I love the asymmetrical nature of these large houses, with their gingerbread, bay windows and stained glass. I know they're not "practical," but I love them. So, for me, that is where I'm headed ... my homeward bound destination.

Isn't it lovely that we have the ability to imagine ourselves in another place, another home, another life?

I'm in the process of tidying a lot of things around my current house. I've gone on another cleaning binge. You'd think, considering the fact that these pop up at least a couple of times a year, that my house would be clean. But, bear in mind that for all but the last few years of my life I have accumulated. Now I'm in the process of divesting.

About 10 years ago I - for the first time - removed things from my house. I had every piece of clothing I'd ever owned, unless it was completely worn out. Then, due to the breakup of a relationship, and reclaiming my space, I decided to get rid of clothes I wasn't wearing. I took 29 big garbage bags full of clothes to the Salvation Army. Yes, 29 bags. I, literally, had every item of clothing I'd ever owned since leaving home for college at 17. You can accumulate a lot of stuff in nearly 20 years.

That broke the dam for me and it has never been very difficult for me to get rid of clothes since then. I'm pretty good at only keeping around what I'm wearing. However, I will keep things I'm only wearing occcasionally.

Sometime over the holiday break I had the thought that I wanted to get rid of things I wasn't wearing regularly, or that I didn't otherwise have a real reason to keep. So the last couple of days I've been doing that. I have three bags of clothes and I'm gathering up one of shoes. I have some wonderful shoes, but I don't forsee me wearing anything but Birks - or other really good shoes - in the near future. So, someone else should be getting some use out of them, there's absolutely no point in them sitting in the closet rotting when someone could be using them.

I'm also donating a really nice swing coat. It's black and in great shape, with a little faux fur collar. But, I bet I haven't worn it but once in two years. That's just not sufficient for me to be storing it - particuarly not when someone else could be getting use out of it. I just got this nice new long coat that I really love, and while the one I'm giving away is dressier, on the rare occasion I need such a thing the new one will suffice.

Anyway, I'm taking it all to Goodwill. At least in Hutchinson, Goodwill is where people go for the "nicer" clothes. And this is nice stuff. I know I could probably sell it at a garage sale and get a few bucks, but I'd rather just get it out of my house.

The upstairs floor of my house has been in disarray for far too long, so it's good I'm getting a handle on it. And the place I'm starting is with clothes. I don't even like buying clothes and I have too many clothes. How do people who are are serious shoppers manage?

(Photo is of detail on a home in Cairo, Illinois, taken Dec. 24, 2007, at twilight.)

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