Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Attics, Basements & Closets

Originally written in August 2013, 
this blog was recently published in The Salisbury Post.

  The title for this journal entry just came to me.. it's a complete coincedence that its alliteration is A-B-C.  But this also paints a picture of our lives.. how simple they are, and yet how complicated they can become, if we let them.

  All houses have closets.  Many of them also have attics and basements.  They seem like "add-ons" to houses, places that are "a part" of the house, but also "apart" from the
house.  Places that we may not spend a majority of time, but places that we can run to whenever we need to.   I have fond memories of these places.  I also, if I struggle to think back, have some scary memories of these places too.

  Early in childhood, I remember being scared when I heard noises in the night (maybe sometimes in the day too!) and went and hid in the closet.  I also remember being scared of these places too.  I once heard noises in our basement, and didn't go down there for awhile.

  But I also have good memories.  I remember hiding out in the basement.  We once had an orange beanbag chair, which I used to plop down on, and probably took naps on many times.  During the summer especially, I remember playing ping pong or cards with friends.  Playing hide 'n' seek.  Hanging out all by myself, and hiding from other members of my family.

  Attics, at least for me, have always been places of storage.  I didn't often visit our
attics.  They were usually hard to maneuver, and full of cobwebs and dust.  And hot during the summertime.  But occasionally, it was also a place of discovery, where
when adventurous enough, I might find something appealing, perhaps a long-lost toy or relic.  Just recently, an ole college friend mailed me an envelope with a series of messages that I had sent to her.  In that envelope was a picture of me at about 22 years old.  It is now on this site ("What About Bob?").  She found these while going through a box of her old college memorabilia.

  Attics.  Basements.  Closets.  Places to hide.  Also- places where we hide things from our past.  Some cherished.  But some- that we are avoiding, for they make us remember things that we would rather forget.  Places where we store things that we cherish. But also, places where we hoard things that would best be thrown away.

  Attics.  Basements.  Closets.  Real places.. in our lives.. our present.. our pasts.  But also- symbolic of our lives.  How we often hide from things that we cannot face.  How we hold on and cling to our pasts, rather than move on into our futures. 

  [ PRAYER:  Lord, help us to recognize the attics, basements and closets of our lives.  They can be useful at times, but help us not to use them as places to hide and hoard.  Set us free from the things and places that bind us.  Help us to move into your freedom.  Amen. ]

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