Beauty is whatever gives joy. -Edna St. Vincent Millay
So I was never able to make it through St. Vincent Millay’s biography, but this quote certainly has resonance. Wasn’t it the freak from American Beauty who famously prattled on about there “being so much beauty in the world” he could hardly stand it? While he was referring to plastic trash bags set alight on wind currents, I share his sentiment, only my hurt and longing is usually caused by the beauty of all other things random, including, but not limited to, vintage ice buckets, plastic stir sticks, and straw clutches.
Perhaps it was last summer’s visit to Nicaragua, where the people enjoyed a majestically simple existence, albeit involuntarily, or the recent excess of Christmas, which seems more pronounced every year. Perhaps it’s old age. Either way, I’ve lately felt the burden of all my stuff and the need to shed some weight.
Being far from technologically savvy, I’m going the old fashioned route and carting stuff to a local consignment shop in hopes of scoring some store credit (or, more likely, being promised a percentage of the sale, never to hear from them again. I would test this theory by purchasing back my own crap, but I’m too frugal to fork over 5 bucks for something I used to own). The first victim of the purge is a pink Victoria’s Secret silk robe, received as a birthday present many years ago (sorry if the artsy fartsy angle is making your neck cramp: I’m new to photography and was climbing all over the bathroom at 3am, fueled by the energy that comes from an afternoon-power-nap-turned-three-hour-slumber).
I wanted the robe after spending summer afternoons watching old Hollywood classics from the ’30s and ’40s at a friend’s house. I suppose I was having a Norma Desmond moment. And yes, I was twelve.
Admittedly part of my hoarding tendencies (ok, neuroses, and yours too) are rooted in childhood fantasies. I constantly dreamed of an attic filled with the mother lode: jewels, my mother’s prom dresses, a vintage cornucopia, if you will. Yet Mama Cynthia was a purger. So in a way, I’m creating the stash I never had for my unborn children. Now this is getting creepy. Next post will be something light. Promise.