Friday, January 09, 2009

dusting off my life

I got seized with a cleaning urge today. I've had a lovely slothful week of tv and cooking, and my house reflects it: coffee table littered with glasses and sudoko books and laptops, the sink full of dishes (that have water in them; I'm not that gross).

Now, I loathe the act of dusting. It feels so pointless; it's going to be dusty again in a couple of days anyway, and I feel like it's like painting the Golden Gate bridge: the scenery never changes and by the time you finish it's time to start all over again. But like the Golden Gate Bridge, the scenery is pretty special. The one thing I do love about dusting- my bedroom specifically- is the opportunity to pick up all of my belongings and remember why I have them. Not just books and clocks, but my things.

The wedding photograph of my grandparents. The little angel Amy gave me when I moved to New York, labeled "for those with a spirit of boundless independence." The little stuffed dog that Danael and I kidnapped from our friend Carl at Ridgecrest in 1996. The 5-year old note from Evan addressed "to Jamie on a Tuesday." The Metro subway map Rubix cube. The little glass jar of seashells from that weekend Madge, Amy, and I went to Galveston for no reason whatsoever. The poloroid of Sandy, Carrie, and me on the longhorn from that weird Texas theme party we had at work probably 10 years ago. The most thoughtful thank-you note I ever received (from Krysten, natch). These things make up my life, my memories, my person. I love wiping that my 30-year old piggy bank off and remembering how my grandfather used to give me a Susan B. Anthony silver dollar every time I saw him. The task inevitably takes me longer than it ought to, but it's always a nice trip down memory lane.

Sadly, the trip is over, and I am now moving on to more mundane tasks of vacuuming and cleaning the toilet. No poetry to be found there. Maybe a spoonful of sugar and the lilting of Julie Andrews would help though.


Blogger Dannybrou said...

oh the stuffed dog we held hostage. I am quite positive there is a chalk drawing of that dead dog somewhere....

January 09, 2009 12:40 PM  
Anonymous Uncle Al said...


I know you probably chose this color combo as a way to stick it to the man for forcing white on black everywhere.

I'm just sayin'...

January 09, 2009 12:50 PM  
Blogger hello jamie: said...

having trouble reading, old man?


January 09, 2009 9:15 PM  
Blogger dw said...

I absolutely love your description of going through your things as you clean. I'm still moving some of my things over to my new condo and trying to organize things there so I've been doing a bit of the same. It's distracting, time consuming but oh so nice to sit and hold something, to remember how you acquired it, to remember the good times and good friends of which it reminds you. And, yeah, ultimately vaccuuming, dishes, laundry and all those other mundane tasks call you back to the world of the present. But it is in the present that you will be adding new little trinkets that five years from now you will look back on and remember these good times. :)

January 10, 2009 8:56 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

hey girl! been meaning to tell you...i LOVED slumdog millionaire. thanks for the recommendation. i'm in Phoenix this week for AACS, but i'll call you next week once i'm back home and we can catch up properly. :)

January 12, 2009 7:41 AM  
Blogger RedCircleLine said...

i love you *and* your splendid blog...
but i'm sorta with Uncle Al on this one.
no offense.

January 13, 2009 9:50 PM  
Anonymous your blog said...

hello, this is your blog. remember me? i'm the thing you write so nicely and insightfully! i'm very forgiving, so if you'll just come back to me, even after such a long absence, i won't hold anything against you. please?

February 17, 2009 9:29 PM  

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