Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Day 3. After the funeral we hiked it back up to Atlanta, leaving warm(er) weather behind. It's in the teens here, and our entire neighborhood is still covered in snow. The most popular activity for Snow Days appears to be cleaning out closets (according to Facebook status updates.) We can be certain, once the ice and snow melts, everyone's innards, so to speak, will be emptied.
I'm racking my brain to find the correlation between closets and being cooped up inside our homes, and the only thing I can come up with is that when faced with prolonged exposure to a single space (e.g. our home) we have to confront it. This may be why so many Southerners have the proverbial skeletons in the closet. There's never enough snow on the ground for us to work up the courage - it is just another room, even smaller than all the others - to face the past.
Quick catalog of my closet: file bin, computer bag, trophy, myriad clothes, myriad shoes, old letters, receipts, purses, CDs.
Among the detritus of my life old letters and shoes hold the most meaning for me. The letters have been loving sorted and filed into boxes by year. From time to time I take them out, fixation on a particular year if I knew it was a good one, seeing the version of me others saw so long ago. They are pretty typical. Remember, it was C's closet so long ago that propelled me to save them like an archivist would. C has just moved into a new apartment and I imagine her setting her own boxes in some dark closet for reading when memory calls her.
The shoes are another story. My interest is not typical. I have a pair of shoes that I can not part with that I wore while in Paris, as in the whole time I was in Paris. They are nothing fancy, a worn pair of Ked's now dusty red from the Georgia clay. Then there's the gray and pink pair of Nike's my twin and I bought together while in NYC. We hadn't brought any good walking shoes, so we made a quick stop to the shoe store and walked out with near matching sets. Or the Vera Wang's from an old boss who was getting rid of them. Now, a favorite for evenings when magic might happen.
This brings me back to my grandmother, whose closets we helped clean out last weekend. I imagined we come across some remarkable discovery - my own closets will surely offer up some interesting life artifacts - but instead we found very little of her. Here was a woman who kept a very clean closet, and folks, it never snows in Florida.
Posted by M W