From the Archives of Clergy Clatter

November 2012

The attic has long been a literary device that creates a sense of mystery, surprise, memory, fun, danger – or whatever. Show a child going into an attic and you have an instant plot for anything you want to write.

For years I’ve planned to use our Yard Sale as a motivation to clean out and organize my attic. Other things have always gotten in the way.  But this year I DID it!

Now – you have to understand. I’ve been in my house for thirty-six years. Do you know how much stuff an attic can ingest in thirty-six years?As I dug through my treasures, trying to decide what to give to the Yard Sale, what to keep and what to throw away, I became aware of a flood of feelings:

●  I remember that.
●  Why did I ever keep that?
●  That was my mother’s bed.
●  That belonged to someone who rented a room. What a character.
●  I wish I could still fit into that.
●  I enjoyed the fish in that tank.
●  I used to polish that silver and brass and keep it so nice.
●  Those have to go!

In some strange way, it was an emotional journey, bringing back past times and people, some unrealized dreams and a lot of chuckles. It needed to happen and after I’d come down from the attic after all my sorting and deciding, I had a sense of relief. It had been a cleansing experience. I was aware that there were fewer things cluttering up my life, and that felt good.

I think we all need those “cleansing experiences” from time to time. Every once in a while we need to clean out the attics of our souls, getting rid of some grudges or bad memories, throwing away some expectations of ourselves and others that have outlived their usefulness, setting aside some of the “high times” of the past. Sometimes we just need to make room for new thoughts, new people, new adventures. The old useless stuff can really clutter us up and weigh us down.

My attic still has things in it, but now they are there because I want them. There will be another “cleaning out” another day, but it’s not the overpowering mess that it was.

Maybe if I’m lucky, I’ll get to clean it out again thirty-six years from now.

Richard+

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