Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A Lesson in Semiotics from the Attic

Have I spoken about the bowl? I believe I have- ah yes, when I was boasting about not having accumulated much... a bit of braggadoccio I have had to swallow raw and without any salt.
The bowl came to mind as I was clearing the attic in preparation for the sale of household goods this weekend. I found little to keep, much to let go of and even more to think about.
    Here is what I have learned about myself-
  • I apparently love, love, love Christmas with all the trimmings. I have boxes and boxes and boxes of ornaments and odd bits picked up at post-season sales and yard sales. Thinking about it, yes, I do love Christmas, and I miss the celebrations of my childhood. I had long-realized I wanted- no ached- to have this house be the place my whole family gathered for the holidays; why else would a single person need a house with three bedrooms? But, it never happened- what remains of my family lives almost 500 miles away, they have jobs and families of their own. (More about the Christmas thing below.)
  • I also crave lots of little bitty bits of light judging by the large number of skeins of Christmas lights and boxes and boxes of candles I had. (For those of you too young to remember, Christmas lights were once large, clunky and only put up at Christmas time unless one lived in a cantina somewhere very far south of Poland, Ohio and sported hoop earrings.) I have always loved the idea of a kitchen strewn with small white lights, a porch illuminated by flickering candles. These fantasies also include lots of friends eating the wonderful food presented in the large bowls... it all ties together in one big semiotic orgy. Ask me to tell you about Stockholm in the late autumn sometime...
  • I have started many schemes and not finished them: funky wreathes smothered with the Christmas ornaments I had gathered; silk-screened prints- made the frames and the separated images; small pieces of furniture painted a la the Omega Workshop. All of these started but then abandoned, some further down the road than others.
  • Blank books with the intention to write in them everyday; this category includes date books and other devices to make me organized. I see now I should just be organized instead of looking for magical devices that I hope will effortlessly make me so. ( I was in Barnes & Nobles this afternoon and saw some- yes, blank books- and was this close to buying one. I then remembered the stack of blank books I have to cart to the dump tomorrow and, casting a wistful backward glance, walked on.)

So, this is the semiotic stew-pot I am living in. I am glad to see now the casting in 3 dimensions the realm of my desires- I want family; I want warmth and conviviality; I want dancing, soft light; I want to be connected to others; I want abundance but not burden. As of today, I still don't have a place to live after the 21st of the month... but, these qualities are largely interior, they are not dependent upon place. My mental attic is getting cleared out in preparation for .... what?
(Did I mention I found a place I would love to live in but...)

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