Spent much of today at the storage unit, clearing, sorting, repacking, and shifting. Tomorrow I’ll drop several boxes of craft supplies at the Creative Reuse Depot in Oakland. (Then I get to spend the afternoon playing Dogs in the Vineyard.) Old files are mostly being stored—I did a serious File Sort before I moved back into the house. I’ll take excess dishes, pots and pans, and other kitchen stuff to thrift shops. I’m keeping the irreplaceable, of course, and the functional things we need. You’ll have to wrench my Atlas pasta maker from my cold dead hands. But many things I loved are going to other homes.
Some things I’ll try to sell. Time to start thinning out beads and selling more of my old soap molds. Time to cut the library again—yes, even after last year’s Big Purge, when I sold 22 boxes of books and gave away half a dozen boxes.
The process of cleaning out the storage unit seemed impossible at first. Then it seemed possible but unending. Now I can count the number of boxes left to sort. gramina
, justifiably wary of my optimism, just asked me, “How many digits?” Single. Of course, after the storage unit is done I have boxes in my bedroom and in the garage. But I’m feeling strong and ready to strip away the unnecessary.
Some of these boxes have followed me around the country for two decades. Others were packed and shipped in haste from the East Coast to California, and I couldn’t bear to unpack and sort them—to see what had and hadn’t survived the split with my ex-husband, the move, the leaky storage place, and the looting by the storage/moving workers. None of it matters any more. I’m letting it all go.
I always felt protective toward the thrift-shop finds and roadside discards that I found and that Billy and I painstakingly refinished. I valued them when no one else cared; I made them beautiful again. I felt guilty when I had to sell the pieces I’d cherished, as though I were abandoning friends. Eventually I realized that someone else would find them in the junk stores and antique shops to which they had scattered.
So the missing pieces hurt less, even the ones I'd keep if I could. The little papier mache dragon incense burner my big sister got me when I was 10 seems to be gone. So is the inlaid box where I kept my dice—and the dice, of course, though kind friends have given me beautiful dice. Someone else may discover the box and marvel over the dice. Someone who can actually burn incense may find and love the dragon.
Time to let them go. Out into the world.