I See It All Now

Weeding through my possessions;
weeding out all that is un-needed,
accumulations seem to have breed-ed.
 
Surely I had no reason to save these
multiple scraps of paper found or applied
importance to a broken pen spied.
 
But still, it’s all here, covered in dust.
I stop to sneeze…as it wings on the breeze
and gathers momentum up my itching nose.
 
Out go handfuls of old receipts of
an iron purchased, a phone, medications,
a hair dryer, printer, clothing, shoes
and a French press from Amazon.com.
 
Now here is a treasure that I should
share a write about too…the last photo taken of
me with my longest, oldest (literally) dear friend.
She died last week at one hundred and two.
(It was taken when she was just 100.)
 
Oh, geez, look at these…assorted
cards that I have received (and kept)
for birthdays, Mother’s Day and a
Christmas or two…still tug at my heart
and I’m not willing to part with…just yet.
 
A newspaper-run obituary of my best
friend in school…gone too young,
of what, I can’t guess.  We had drifted
apart as lives took diverse paths.
 
Here’s a letter from the guy at Rutgers
who led the sociology study on our
commune in the 70s.  They’ve
followed our members for decades
wherever our lives moved us…even gave
us a stipend once for filling out
their lengthy 25th year questionnaire.
I even found you on Facebook, Ben,
and became one of your friends.
 
50th anniversary photo of Mom and Dad,
divorce letter to me from daughter at age 11
(I already wrote about that one), Save Tibet
decals from the International Campaign for
Tibet…I should go stick one on my car.
 
Gosh, this was only one small basket on
my bedside table…so much was here
that covered so many years.  And it took
a half hour to muse and to study and decide
what could go…and what still remains…
deeply attached…

I

see

it

all

now.

In following in Schiller’s footsteps, we’re invited to write about what we “see” or observe.  http://dversepoets.com/2012/07/21/poetics-in-schillers-footsteps-the-reading-of-our-collaborative-poem/

This concludes our week of celebration of the first anniversary of dVerse Poets.  A wonderful reading was recorded by multiple members of dVerse…it was fabulous.  Go have a listen.  What great fun and thanks to everyone!

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38 Comments

  1. smiles…i have a bowl on my table as well…lots of memories condensed down into it and treasures along the way…enjoyed the look into your bowl as well…and just a glimpse at some of the memories behind them…i am sorry for the loss of your friend recently…you were real in this…the good with the uncomfortable…

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    • Yes, so many memories in just that small space…something we all seem to have in common. My friend had voiced so many times, beginning years before, that she was ready to go…she waited patiently…

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  2. The things we cannot part with because they bind us in memories of love-

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  3. Nice. I have a drawer where all the keepsakes go. And a place where reciepts and such go — which I like to think I would clear it regularly. :)

    I enjoy reading a poem like this. It’s personal, reminds one that one has such things in store somewhere, maybe to take it out, brush away the dust and remember.

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    • Thanks. I’m glad you enjoyed this.

      Yes, as you can tell from the other comments…we all seem to have this type of accumulation of our lives in common. I’ve been doing a lot of “weeding” lately…it feels good to let go of a lot of it. It was weighing me down…

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  4. At the times these keepsakes seem so important. It’s fun to go through them later. I’m a sentimental gal, but my husband thinks differently. I especially like this vivid detail:

    But still, it’s all here, covered in dust.
    I stop to sneeze…as it wings on the breeze
    and gathers momentum up my itching nose.

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    • I seem to be more sentimental with things that my two daughters have given me. What’s interesting is that I part with things at different times…I have to hold on for awhile and then later can see that I no longer need/want to. It is a process.

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  5. Not the time for decluttering then, Gayle? What astute and acute observations you have made not only about the things but about your feelings for them – good stuff :)

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    • Actually was able to throw a lot away in spite of hanging on to some things. Thank goodness! I’m glad you enjoyed this, Polly, thanks so much.

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  6. If I have to do some spring cleaning I have to close my eyes. Some things are hard to part with (sorry about your friend’s death) ~ Nice one ~

    http://a-sweetlust.blogspot.ca/2012/07/on-growing-roots.html

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    • Haha…I know what you mean, Grace. Yes, some things are hard to part with…but in time we often can. My friend was so ready to go…she’s at peace now. Thank you.

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  7. so nice going through all these old letters and pics and memories…102..wow…how awesome is that..your poem made me wanna sit down with my own memory basket..smiles

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    • It feels good to me to let go of the junk that I have accumulated…a lot of old papers especially. I will always keep the memories though. Yeah…102..pretty amazing…

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  8. Reminds me of these baskets left for children when a parent has a terminal illness – how would we sum up our life for others?

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    • I don’t think the ones I leave behind need to be bothered with old receipts and meaningless papers…then it becomes a burden. I do have some journals..perhaps those would be interesting… Thanks, John.

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  9. lucychili

     /  July 22, 2012

    wow special memories.
    i very much need to clear my things too

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    • Yes, so many memories in one small basket. It’s kind of fun when you have the time to do it without hurry. Thanks for coming by, Lucy.

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  10. I felt the process here… bitter sweet

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    • Hi Patricia…I find it interesting that I wasn’t ready before to let go of some items but then later I was…it is a process…life is a process.

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  11. I know what you mean! I am constantly looking at the accumulation and wondering, where did all this come from. It does seem to breed and multiply, doesn’t it? I find stories in much of it, too.
    Wonderful write. I enjoyed it!

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  12. Applause! Especially for all the details and your ordering of them so meaningfully!

    But listen to all of you– A basket here, a drawer there! I have several baskets and drawers and a file closet and an entire closet and half an attic of boxes I have carted from place to place and actually fear opening–though I keep telling myself I will put a month aside to luxuriate in it all. In fact, the locked closet is a character in the novel that I keep NOT finishing while I am writing poetry these first few months of retirement. (And no, if you are my folks listening in, you may not come and help me throw some things away!)

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    • Wow…you do seem to have quite a bit to “contend” with! I’m a more streamlined kind of person. I don’t much like a lot of clutter and things around me that I don’t use. It’s a very personal thing it seems…whether we collect or not. But I do enjoy going through “stuff” and seeing what I’m now ready to let go of…it feels freeing to me!

      And thank you for the applause…I appreciate that!

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  13. What a wonderful poem. I’m almost afraid to look at the stuff I’ve accumulated, let alone write about it. :)

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  14. This was a great read, Gayle. :) I think most people can identify with saving things for sentimental reasons, and even the things we save that we later go, “What was I thinking?”. One of the most important things my mom ever taught me was that “Space will fill.” It will accumulate “stuff” if you’re not vigilant about what goes into it. I’m sorry about your friend but wow, hope I can live to see 102! And I’m glad that you feel “lighter” now, after having gotten rid of some of the unnecessary “stuff”.

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    • Thanks, Corina. Your Mom was right…space will fill even though we may try hard to keep the “mole hill” from becoming a “mountain.” It’s almost a constant maintenance job. :)
      My friend had talked about being ready to go many years before she finally did…102 is a good run…can’t deny that! She was a dear…

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  15. Very nice … I am in the midst of major cleaning and reorganizing of bedroom and bath … I wonder — just why have I kept all of this? And, for some I have to just close my eyes and dispose. I swear I must have ADD — one scrap takes me somewhere else to somewhere else to somewhere else — EVENTUALLY — I return to the beginning!! No wonder it’s seems like forever since I started. :D Thank you for sharing!

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    • Becca, you’re still cleaning?! My goodness…you must be like a whirlwind around your house. You’ll feel so good when you get it all organized and weeded out won’t you. I asked myself the same question…why did I ever keep this…repeatedly! I’ve just done a little lately and I already feel lighter. Thanks, Becca.

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  16. Going through the detritus of our lives can be an eye-opener in a way … but then some precious momentoes are had to part with.

    I’ve been doing the same thing. I’ll tell you one thing though, I will never buy anything ever again. !!! ;-)

    A fine poem, Gayle. I like it a lot. Very human.

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    • Haha…yes, it does make us wonder if we ever need to purchase another thing. But really I do like to live pretty streamlined…I routinely get rid of “stuff” that I’m not wearing or using. It’s the paperwork that seems the worst for me. I’m glad you liked this, Jamie.

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  17. You know Gayle my own draws and cupboards are full of the same. Cards etc I still hang onto.. I have a clearing out spree every so often,, and feel pleased with myself for letting GO .. :-)

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    • Everyone seems to have one (or more) of those drawers, Sue. I always feel pleased too for letting go of yet more. So nice to see you.

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  18. It feels good to clear out and lighten up, but so hard and this poem expresses that well.

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