Friday, March 11, 2011

Day Seven: A Picture of My Most Treasured Item

Today I am supposed to provide a picture of my most treasured item as part of the Thirty Day Challenge.  Yet what would that be?  I grew up with the belief that knicknacks were useless and that if one did not use something within six months it should be discarded.  That has changed slightly as I've gotten older.  I've realized a year cycle is probably better and that I shouldn't discard everything -- scraps of wood can come in quite handy for art or other projects.

Like most tasks in this month-long self-examination, I started thinking about my answer a day in advance.  I determined that I could not answer with a person or a pet, since "item" implies, to me at least, something that is not alive.  For most of my life I have worked on getting rid of attachments to possessions, knowing that those possessions may be gone in a blink of an eye.  This was demonstrated in a very real way one year ago this month when I arrived home to find my home burgled.  All of the beautiful jewelry I collected over many years -- including the one large piece Honey bought me one year, my grandmother's antique engagement ring, and the silly little silver dragon ring that was the first piece of jewelry Honey ever bought me and something I adored -- was gone.  The pets were alive, terrified but safe.  And my home was a bit worse for wear but reparable.  Of course I miss my things, but it was not a devastating loss (just a bit damaging in terms of psyche, knowing that this was yet another home that, for a while at least, did not feel safe).  So what thing would I value?

After much thought, I came up with two possibilities:

Honey and I built a library in one of the basement rooms.  The agreement was I would get rid of any books that didn't fit (the whole wall is lined with bookshelves).  One of my most treasured possessions? Knowledge.  The other treasured possession is hidden with the picture.  See the white cat statue?  That is actually an urn for my lovely baby Hero, who died in 2009.  My heart broke when she died of kidney failure.  She had been such a part of my life and was the perfect cat, my little Manx baby.  She woke me up in the hours before she passed so that I could sit with her and hold her until the end.  Even now I cry thinking about it.  Her passing allowed for three others to join our family -- Bunny, Nicky, Nora -- but I miss my baby terribly.  And so if someone told me I could only take one suitcase of possessions with me I know what I would bring: a few books, a few clothes, a few photos, and Hero.

And of course my furry babies.  They are not possessions, but I am not going anywhere without them.

1 comment:

  1. Love it! That's so sweet, and your book collection is enviable! I'm ashamed to admit our wall of bookshelves is completely insufficient, and there are piles of books everywhere, LOL!
    It's really such a mental invasion to have a home broken into, and I can imagine it took a long time to heal. Your writing is very moving, and very beautiful.
    Keep up the good work!


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