Once again, an enormous crash has sent my nerves reeling.
A shelf in the built-in hutch in my nearly-100 year old home gave way, sending a cascade of wine glasses, vases and other crystal into a glittering mess on the floor. Heart racing, hands shaking from adrenaline, I carefully picked up the shards and wondered if my life is trying to tell me something.
My relationship with the glassware in the cabinet is complicated. There are the crystal candlesticks I got on Burano, a little island outside Venice. (Only one survived the fall.) There are the wineglasses I loved and the wineglasses that I always thought were a little tacky, but all of them were gifts, so I kept them. (Half of each category were broken.) Then there is the fact that I rarely drink and sometimes wonder why I have wine glasses at all.
But then there is the bowl that I love to use at parties, the one with the deep blue swirls that I always thought were both joyful and mysterious.
Perhaps I need these rather unsubtle cues to divest myself of things, especially things that I have no real use for, things that I’m hanging on to out of guilt or habit or simple indecision. I could find new homes for the things that have no use to me anymore. I could give up the stories about a life I thought I would have where such possessions were needed. I could realize that no one remembers the gift they gave me 15 years ago anyway and it’s highly unlikely that they’ll be hurt that I’m no longer hanging on to it.
In the end, most of my possessions are just sitting, collecting dust and weighing down my mind with expectations and long-dead dreams. Do I have to wait until they too are broken on the floor before I unburden myself of them?
All photos by me using an iPhone with shaking hands. Darned adrenaline.