I declared war on my closet this week. Well, we did. I dragooned both my daughters into the fight. To be fair I did offer them the spoils of closet war and they were not slow to take me up on it. My craft closet has long been a mysterious catchall for the well-used, misappropriated, repurposable and just plain odd things we haul home, so they knew there would be loot to snatch up in a wide variety of types.
Its a funny thing about closets. We store things in them, because that is, after all, what they are for. But then something odd, or wonderful, depending on your point of view, happens and they become a sort of time-capsule/family museum. When you clean them out you can find some great and mystifying things.
Memories and laughter chased each other around that work-room for the better part of two hours. At the end of that time we had two piles departing, two over-stuffed garbage bags trashing and one, much smaller, stash staying. I hadn’t really planned on that last bit but I suppose there are casualties in every war and the death of this expectation was an acceptable compromise.
Its a funny thing about cleaning out the old – sometimes you get tripped up by memories where you least expected them to lie. A closet is so often dust and detritus that we tend to forget the gold hidden there in the hurry and splash of everyday life. You can’t spend you life looking back, they say, or you’ll lose your way forward, but it was nice, for a couple of hours, to look back on where and who we’d been. And to see those people: my girls, my husband, our friends, myself, through eyes other than my own was broadening, to say the least.
No two people see an incident the same way. Nor do those two remember the same things with the same intensity. What affects one profoundly may have been forgotten by the other. Memory is odd that way, bound in perception and perspective to a degree that no other sense is. If you want to find out how true that is, clean out a closet or two. Drag in a family member or three to help. You may be surprised at what you’ll find.