Thursday, July 26, 2012

You can't grasp the river

One of my very smart friends has mentioned on occasion that those of us who cultivate rich inner lives may not focus so much on having lots of material stuff, but, we too can be hoarders. Internal hoarding - wow. It's interesting to think about.

A couple of days ago I went through my dresser drawers, tossed everything I haven't worn this summer, which was about half of what was in there. I washed everything else, (only 2 small loads - really I have no clothes!) neatly folded and put my meager "wardrobe" away. As usual after I get rid of stuff, I felt happy and serene.

After that righteous bout of cleaning, I noticed I had six portraits of Jake on display. Six. The chateau is a small, three-room apartment in which I have very limited wall space. I prefer to believe I choose carefully what I wish to look at. I asked myself, What am I doing? Why all the pics of Jake? He died more than three years ago. Hmmm.

I was hoarding grief for my old dog. It felt like loyalty and life-long adoration but I'm thinking now that the multiple images spoke more to a grasping, hoarding mentality than the devotion I imagined it represented. Once upon a time, it would have made sense, but now?

I've replaced the portraits, a good thing. I'm experiencing the same spacious feeling I get when I clean out my closets. That's significant. I always say it, but do I genuinely embody the phrase Onwards and Upwards? Outwardly, yes, but in my heart, not so much.

Interesting to think about. Shalom.


Pam said...

The last time a friend of mine said I had a rich and varied inner life was when she was trying in exasperation to unpick and alter some dressmaking that I'd attempted and subsequently ruined.
To me, when we have these cleanouts, whether psychic or physical, it's our practical side letting us know it's still functioning.
My Dad was a serious hoarder,like some kind of psychological constipation. How much we need to "clear out our identity" is another question.
In the nearly sixty years I've known my father, it has been as someone who sees themselves as very much the WW2 veteran.That war gave people their identity in such long-lasting and psychologically-rooted ways that their children have had to live through and witness.
As kids, we wished he'd get rid of all the dusty war memorabilia and hoarded crap, and play and be present. That's important.
Good post Reya.

Reya Mellicker said...

The greatest generation, they called them.

Pam. Why is time/space so difficult to negotiate. We should be sitting together right now, talking talking. We should.

ellen abbott said...

Sometimes it just takes more time than others to realize we've let go of something.

Steve Reed said...

I can identify, Reya -- I always feel so much better after I clean stuff out. (Having a partner who likes to collect kitchen gadgets makes that task harder, however!)

It sounds like you are continuing to take important steps of healing after Jake's death, even three years later.