We also removed the wall system from the wall where it has faithfully hung for thirty years. It, too, was full of wonderful gifts and a chosen selection of possessions. It will go back up. We bought the wall system in the first years of our marriage, so about thirty-five years ago. I worked at a furniture store and we got it for cost. It is pure rosewood so was expensive even in those days. The space surrounding it was last painted thirty years ago. We don't like to rush.
The painting was to begin today, but now it begins tomorrow. Meanwhile it is a chance to see what no longer needs to be here in the house. We have tapes and no tape deck. We have CD's piled, when their sound could fit into an ipod. It seems we are going to be a wee bit more efficient when we put everything back in four or five days, and yet, I just had company and everyone said how lovely and loved the house looked. It will be a fine balance to put things back in a way of honoring change, and the past, present, and future.
For now, it is odd. The walls are bare and the entire glass door is exposed. Some rooms are piled and others are bare. I walk between them and wonder if this is how it is when we begin to die. We discard and cleanse until we are no longer here. Perhaps, that is too easy and I will see. I intend to envision it like that though, tossing a scarf here, and giving a book there, until there is nothing left and I am fully spread, a flower with petals exhaustedly flat, and pollen distributed by wind, insects, birds, and bees.