Saturday, November 8, 2008

Comes a Time

Comes a time a person stops being who another person needs him to be - they are all gone - and is as he is.

Comes a time the baggage is all that is left. The history of my life. The archive of uncompleted projects, undigested books, unwashed dishes. Half done, they linger on, filling my residence with a sense of self and purpose.

Yet now I am more.

Begin the ending of the past.

A now-gone dear friend of almost 40 years loved to fill a home with empty spaces. The only purpose of things was to define spaces. Of such is beauty born.

My own life principle is that spaces need to be filled with things. Of such is function born. Even for an object just to sit there and be beautiful gives it a function. Space allows it.

So my home is overfull. Comes a time.

I wander from room to room looking in each for one thing to change, one thing to complete, one thing to throw away. Slowly the undone projects cluster together. In the kitchen on a shelf sits a book whose cover needs gluing, some sun-glasses which periodically come unglued, and the bottle of glue, all awaiting a moment.

All my things once had purpose. Now almost none of them do.

I try letting form follow function. Do my thing and let the past become the lumber from which the future takes its solidity. The past is, after all, all I have. So I turn old dead floor lamps into plant stands. Boxes of books and old clothes let me wall off a recording studio.

I have little boxes of pretty stones, picked up from the ground as souvenirs over the years, mementos of forgotten places and times. I did this as a child when we last went to the little church I grew up in, before the time of wanderings began. I took some stones from the gravel by the door. I would always have them, to have and to hold. I have seven or eight boxes.

When my mother died, I took her box of stones and emptied them from a bridge into a rocky creek in Massachusetts leading to the sea so they would eventually return to the source of it all. Her stones were in envelopes, carefully labelled.

But I have forgotten where mine came from. Now their worth is just that they are pretty stones. I have not figured out how to involve them in my ongoing life. Put them in the fish tank?

Comes a time to drop the traces.

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