but before we get to that sentiment, a peek into the world of deconstruction.
Re-purposed produce boxes here, there, and some over yonder as well… Bit by bit, I take apart and pack up my material world, deciding which items will accompany me to the city on Monday (until further notice – perhaps in another 5 months, I may find myself an accomplice on a mission to Boston), and which will bravely stay behind…
Such as this set of bookshelves, which my brother (and I – as admirant observer of his self-taught engineering prowess…though I did do a fair bit of the staining) built together and installed last summer over the course of a few days. These will most certainly be tagging along at some future point, whenever a more permanent move is made. I mosey over and take a gander at some of my shelved favorites… So many books to delve into in such a scant span of time. I read an article the other day suggesting that instead of trying to breathe in every last molecule of book that peaks our interest, that we should ‘cull’ (a favorite word and concept) and focus on re-reading a precious few? This seems to make logical sense, but that’s like walking into a local bakery with a plethora of homemade goodies from scratch…and I, being ever so indecisive about some things, am not sure if I could resist trying something new for too long. Although, reading the same book twice, especially at different points in one’s life, turns out to be a new experience altogether. I am also cozying up to the idea of writing ‘ending book marks’, or summaries and invoked thoughts/feelings immediately upon finishing a book, to be kept like a library card for further indexing. This idea has been inspired by a personal knowledge research project that I have been involved with through University of Rhode Island. But before I spin off on a galaxy tangent… My dresser top is something akin to a personal altar, decorated by bits of inspired beauty and joy – cards, photographs of dear friends, a strand of silvery stars, a stained-glass angel, a portait of a butterfly painted by my 3-year old nephew – all down and in boxed transition. A curious Mary has also resided there for some time… Though I was christened Catholic (and still wear the wee silver heart necklace that adorned my baby dress), I am not religious in the traditional sense of the word. My beliefs are personal and spiritual. I find beauty in found talismans of a sort. This statue of Mary of Magdalene (or so I presume?) was salvaged from a simple bureau, part of my late great-grandparent’s bedroom set across the hall… An unassuming chest of drawers if there ever was one. But she lay inside, chipped halo and all; and, I was instantly adoring of this imperfection. She became instantly, for me, a symbol of the “imperfectly perfect”, essence of beauty in the whole. Eyes closed, head titled in such a demure fashion, hands in prayer but still open, accepting. I often light a candle by her side so that she reflects, and I can reflect too. Funny how bureaus can hold such silent secrets. I had used it as a place to store some of my craft materials. As I was going back through today, I saw scribbled on the bottom of one of the drawers what appears to be the words, “Soul Day, Sept. 6, 12 – ” Perhaps I am mistaken? But that is how I first read and internalized. This simple writing got me thinking about our need, as human beings, for recognition of inner expression marked by rituals and traditions. Perhaps these differ from person to person, or culture to culture, but I truly believe we all have this need, even if not realized… And it could be as simple as walking the same path to work every morning; or buying a certain brand of shampoo because the scent reminds us of a particularly fond set of life events…would we call these habits or routines? I think, in some way, perhaps rituals, traditions , habits and routines share some common ground, even though the particular causes and actions range from the mundane to the extreme.
I mention this strand of thoughts, because earlier in the day I was taking out from the basement a box of saved bottles (I hoard bottles, egg cartons, cardboard boxes, you name it – being prone to crafts, as well as a thrifty teacher; but in the midst of moving, I realized the need for a temporary purge), and my significant other glanced at the bottles, looked up at me, and asked, “Are you going to send messages in those bottles or something?” Of course, he was being lovingly sarcastic. But when I saw this inscription in the drawer, this earlier encounter got me thinking – again. And so, I tore out a piece of thicker paper…
Wrote a message that might reach a kin soul…And rolled it up into one of the empty wine bottles, adding one of my saved fortunes for good measure. Then I tucked it into my bag, and walked on a drizzly gray day around the corner to the beach…clearly, I was not the only soul with beach as a destination in mind, which is the usual case in this relatively crowded part of the world…A family of kite flyers! There is nothing so simply pleasing as flying a kite, something I have not done for ages and ages. So, I gazed for a bit and flew one vicariously – a beautiful butterfly no less, streaming against an empty sky. Then I walked down to the far end of the beach – I thought perhaps if I simply pulled out my bottle and chucked it into the ocean, people might wonder…which isn’t necessarily reason to worry; I try to get better about people-wondering as I continue to grow into myself. As I was getting ready to toss, I spotted a brave, lone soul out on his paddle board; I thought he might end up being the recipient or at least the audience for my strange, one-woman show!Of course, the waves were crashing in, and tide was out, so the bottle bobbed on top between crests for a brief moment… Before being pushed back in to meet me. 🙂 What can I say, I’m my own best messenger sender! But I tossed that stubborn messenger back once more, in the hopes that come nightfall and high tide, this bottle might find itself a seafaring vessel with no set destination. And if one of my neighbors happens to pick it up tomorrow morning on the other end of the beach, then my mission will still have been completed. From one soul to another, no matter how near or far. I often think that sometimes, in our attempt to connect with other souls and make an impact (not saying the message in the bottle is the most proactive way to go), that we do often think far-ranging….but how many souls are nearby that we happen to overlook and with which we have failed to connect? One too many, surely. Then back to the house-by-the-sea to hang with one of my all-time favorite souls, Miss Maya (my wild Irish rose – probably not a lick o’ the green, ‘cept in those crazy, almost-human cat eyes of hers…) She’s a very soulful kitten, sings me songs of all intonations, depending on the occasion. You just have to partake in the symphony sometime soon. Later, on New Soul Day, I popped a lovely batch of popcorn, snuggled up against pillows galore in my boat-sized bed (which will not be accompanying us to Providence), and watched this little gem of an animation – A Cat in Paris – not even realizing until now that it was nominated for a 2012 Academy Award. A Purrfect (almost) end to a curiously soulful day (Oui, Oui Maya-cita, we are not in Paris, but perhaps – some day).
Love and Learn,
L to the N