Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Dusting off and starting over

Major bookcase/soul cleaning just occurred, in which I discovered that my emotional attachment to nearly half my library wasn’t as great as I thought it was. This last hour was so cathartic, looking for notes or hidden money in the flaps, then separating the books by language and importance before bagging them up or putting them back on the shelves. Something about sending dust motes flying brings such relief! Lots of tomes will now be making their way to new homes. If you live in Rio and are looking for English language novels or random books in Portuguese, drop me a line. I’ll be lugging them downtown to a used bookstore in a few week’s time…

The early-fall cleaning is in store because I am seriously contemplating a move. The house with the falling roof and bar-less windows, unflushing toilet and impossible-to-use-kitchen layout (in which the refrigerator only opens about four inches before slamming into the stove) has finally weaseled its way out of my heart. The recent robbery helped move things along, as did some not-too-good news about my visa. But before I can really plan the aforementioned move, I need to figure out how much stuff I have that's actually WORTH having. The table, maybe. The four broken chairs? Not so much. And so, little by little, 30 minutes a day or so, I'm going through drawers and boxes, cupboards and shelves and eliminating stuff. It's a rush. Really freeing. Too bad there's no Goodwill where I can just drop off bag after bag; I'm going to have to work a bit harder to get rid of these now-unwanted items. But this is Brazil, land of second chances for even the most battered coffee table. Fear not, second-second-second hand furniture! There may still be life for you yet!

This cleaning binge probably has a lot to do with the recent breakup and subsequent deep funk. (I hesitate to call it depression, as that's not fair to those who are really struggling with such a condition. This is bearable, known, and will pass, with time, hot tea and perhaps a little retail therapy. I'm thinking green peep-toes, but who knows?) It's tempting to draw comparisons between the cleaning going on in the house and the cleaning going on in other areas of my life. There's a lot of dust flying still, but bit by bit it's settling into piles that can be swept up and thrown out with the garbage on Wednesday evenings. Things are really off-kilter right now, and I don't have the slightest idea where God is taking me or even what decisions are available. So it's nice to be able to at least decide what books, or t-shirts, or how many Nutella drinking glasses are going to stay in my life. Ah, control. Slight, but tangible. It's just enough to keep me grounded, enough for another day. Call me weak, but I need a little control right now, and if this is the best I can get, so be it. Dust rags and scrub brush, vamos!

3 comments:

wren said...

write me poetry! :)

Rebecca said...

whatcha got? i might be interested.

Ali la Loca said...

Hey girlie, the Casa Rosa is always a willing recipient for old books, any language!!