Sanna's Bag

“I never seem to have what I need when I need it. I’m going to make a belt-bag that’s bigger on the inside than on the outside, and just carry everything with me.”

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Wait, what day is this?

A college friend has been diagnosed with inoperable cancer and asked me to be the executor of his estate.  I'm at the age when people are dying a lot more, and I am going back into that metaphorical cold dirty room left to me when Mom died.  I have been much out of touch with the here and now.

Going into that metaphorical room is giving me symbols to use to deal with the feelings and processes.  The room was festooned with dust and cobwebs.  I keep going out and coming back with more tools.  And helpers.  In my visuallizing, I had to ask DH to help me get the window open.  Without his strength and hands-on skills, I would have had to smash the wonderful old wavey glass with the tiny bubbles in it.  The window had been caulked shut and I had to get it open.

Then I brought in a leaf-blower to chase out the cobwebs.  I was telling my friend LG about the process (knowing that she also speaks metaphor and imagery) and she gave me an extra extension cord for the leaf blower and made herself available to help whenever I needed her.  What a gift!

The room is crowded with hulking piles under dust-sheets.  I have to squeeze between them.  I knocked into one stack, and it fell down.  It was all empty boxes with packing tissue or newspaper stuffed into them.  As if something had been taken out, and the box just shoved back into this empty room because you never know when you might need it.  Mom was very much a child of the great depression, and she hated to get rid of anything.  So I mentally went through all the boxes, shook out the paper, then flattened the boxes and paper and took them to the re-cycling.  The only full box was stuffed tight with soft old rag-dolls.  They were grubby from being played with.  Ther clothes needed mending and their yarn hair needed tending.  I don't know why they got shoved in here.  Were they not good enough?  Mom used to buy me big, beautiful, elaborate, expensive dolls that I wasn't allowed to play with.  All show, no cuddle. I feel sorry for these soft lovey dollies and decide to take care of them. With the pile of empty boxes gone, it's nice to have a bit of clear floor space to work in.

Today, I'll need to bring in some more lights, another extension cord for the leaf-blower, and the shop vacuum.  Once I get all the cobwebs chased out, I'm going to start with the big pile right in front of the door and start discovering what's under the rest of the dust sheets. 

So I am posting this for a couple of reasons.  One, to give you an idea of what goes on inside this bone box on top of my spine, and two, to open the process up to my friends.  Any ideas, interpretations, inspirations?  Sometimes other people can look at a symbol that is obscure to me, and it is perfectly obvious to them.  My subconscious is very good at hiding things from me.  And three, if you have any rooms in your head that need cleaning, to offer my leaf-blower and shop-vac skills.

Yeah, I know, all metaphysical touchy-feely new-agey hoohoo.  I'll use any tools that will work and I don't care what they look like.  But if you don't want to know about the process, let me know, ok?  I'm going to be at this for a while.


  • At 7:40 AM , Blogger sophanne said...

    I have no interpretations but am glad you are sharing. My rooms are sealed away. Maybe reading about yours will open them up a little.

  • At 8:29 AM , Anonymous LindaG said...

    I like the idea of good wholesome cleaning supplies, so here is some advice from the wonderful cleaning gal that I have used. She says, "I make all my own cleaning solutions using just a handful of different ingredients: vinegar, baking soda,salt, jojoba oil, vegetable-based soap, and for your hardwood floors I use Bona. I use tea tree essential oil to cover the pickle smell and because it has antiseptic properties. (And also because I like it… it smells clean without being a food-y smell like lemon.)"

    So now your room can start having a wholesome smell, bit by bit.

  • At 8:53 AM , Blogger Heide said...

    Roxie, your writing is tremendously powerful and full of emotion. I wish you strength and love while helping your friend transition from this world. It is an honor to be so trusted.

  • At 9:14 AM , Blogger Willow said...

    When you get to the pile of newspapers and magazines be sure to shake them out and see if any $5.00 bills fall from between the pages. I'd check for gold coins in the corners of the room too. You never know... Use that leaf blower and you might end up with a little pile of 5s, 10s and 20s under the leaves and dead branches.

    I often converse with my mom. She reminds me that I don't have to hold on to a 'thing' to remember her. Every time I ask if I can give away something or wash the curtains, she tells me, "Of course, Honey, the stuff doesn't matter."

    And when at the end of the month I have saved a few pennies, my dad nods at me and smiles (although he's still mad that I moved to CA after he died).

  • At 9:14 AM , Blogger Willow said...

    PS: I really like the new format. Very restful and calm.

  • At 10:44 AM , Anonymous Benita said...

    I'll send you some metaphorical bright fabric to make curtains for the windows. Nothing turns a cold, inhospitable room into something warm and cozy than nice curtains. I assume you'll want lots of pink in the fabric? Now you have curtains to make and put up in there.

    I am sorry you are going through all of this, but I think you have come up with a mentally and spiritually healthy way to work your way through these times.

    Is there a recliner under all those sheets someplace? Then you'll need tea and a nice tea cup to drink it from, too.

  • At 12:27 PM , Blogger Inaie said...

    You can use some of my fairy dust. When I see it all blurry, I close my eyes, and let the magic come. It helps me feel better, it turns on the light in the dark corners, it brings the lavender smell I like so much.

    And it makes me smile!

  • At 1:11 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


    Sorry to hear of your friend. Yeah, live long enough, this happens. A lot.

    Re: that room--the first thing that came to mind was "Shop-Vac", so was pleased to find it listed among the tools. Bigger the better!

    Re: the new format: I have a sense that the new color is the color of "that room". Allow me to suggest you reconsider the old color. Always loved that one. Or fuchsia. Always loved the spelling on that....

    Much love and all good things,
    That old guy

  • At 8:58 AM , Anonymous Lisa Nowak said...

    Perhaps the old, cuddly rag dolls are your true self, and the new expensive dolls are the self you felt you had to be to earn your mother's love. But the fact that she kept the old ones means that no matter how inadequate you might have felt about pleasing her, she still thought you were worth keeping around. And, of course, she was hoping you would one day discover that box all on your own.

  • At 4:09 PM , Anonymous Dave said...

    I am fearful of cleaning The Room, myself. Spiders. Skeletons. NOT a nice place. The blinds are drawn, the doors and windows nailed shut. It is a quiet place, a place of sorrow and tears. Dead memories and lost loves, cobwebs and melancholy. I don't go there any more. I've shed too many tears and the nails are now rusted, holding their captured memories silently, in the night.
    I will grieve for you and your friend and the memories you've shared. Hold them dearly, for that is all that we have.

  • At 6:53 AM , Blogger Amy Lane said...

    I think you need a space heater in there, and some lights. And I'll come with some cleaning supplies and help get the spiders out of the corners. And maybe we can scare up an old couch, so we have a place to sit and chat when we're resting from our endeavors...

    I'm sorry about your friend, baby. I do know the feeling.

  • At 9:01 PM , Blogger Galad said...

    I'm along for the journey and am pretty handy with a dust rag but the leaf blower could be dangerous.


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