Wednesday, 16 November 2011

The fabric of my life

15. Pack Rat Tendencies
When push comes to shove, I can rid myself of quite a few material possessions without too many tears or anxieties.  (We’ll just forget that moment a few years ago when I had a crying jag about my life being sold for 25 cents.)  However, there are always some items too saturated with memory to stuff in the charity bag or display on the yard sale table.  Among these items are old toys, school rewards, ancient research and T-shirts. 
Lots and lots of T-shirts.   
These things, too precious to sell or give away, are currently stored in my parents’ house.  They claim they take up too much room, but I have been down in that basement and the theatre/teaching detritus easily outweighs my few boxes and trunks.  And don’t think I haven’t noticed a few of my personal items turning up as party props…
Regardless, yesterday I identified a particular bag of clothes and decided it was time to go through it and make some decisions about what to do with the ancient items. 
Here is what I found…

It’s my life, from 16 to about 27, in T-shirts.   Kind of interesting to see it all laid out like that.  Ten years of my life, in which I became an adult (sort of) condensed down into about 15 T-shirts.  Some time periods are more prominent than others, but there it is. 
I posted this photo online yesterday and immediately got the reply back, ‘There’s a paper in there!’

Ahh, Academics.  Always mining for the next paper idea.  Publish, Publish, Publish.

I told my friend, he can have the paper.  I’m taking a different approach. 

But he was right, there is a story there.  Actually, there are a lot of stories there.  They span family vacations across the country to University activism to my first job and even all the way to the African continent. 

Lately I have been feeling words have left me.  I struggle to find a story to tell.  Sometimes I think the PhD stole all my words and stories. 
In finding that bag of t-shirts, I find there are plenty of stories still to tell and words to be found.*

Today I am thankful for the inability to throw away these T-shirts so many years ago and my parents’ ‘willingness’ to store them.  I am thankful to find the stories and words returned to me. 

*In the coming weeks and months I hope to share some of these stories with you in an attempt to revive my other blog, Rummaging in the Attic. Stay tuned.

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