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Our own recovered wing-back chair…

This morning I reblogged a post by Bridget over at The happy Quitter that quite captivated me. It brought to mind a book that came out a few years ago (Forgotten Bookmarks: A Bookseller’s Collection of Odd Things Lost Between the Pages, by Michael Popek) about a used bookseller who found all kinds of bookmarks in books he took in for his store. It isn’t a work of fiction. He actually does own a bookstore and describes things he’s found that folks have used for bookmarks.

As I read Bridget’s post I thought how interesting it would be for her to take her experiences with the people she’s worked for and turn them into fiction pieces in her own book, retelling stories that might surround her sometimes valuable, sometimes seemingly worthless finds. (Hint, hint, hint, Bridget! 😀 )

But I couldn’t let go of the picture her words painted in my mind. All the things disappear in the cracks of the furniture and stay hidden there for years, until I dig them out. 

Travel Carter CavesAnd suddenly I was sitting in the cave of my soul seeing myself as an old sofa, pondering on how many things I’ve tried to do with myself to “update” me, make me more attractive, hide stains from spilled drinks, change my color scheme to fit that of those around me… There’s never been a question of “recovering” me. The fabric of my life might be worn in places, but it’s quality stuff. It can take a lot of wear and tear and spilled messes.

All that aside, Bridget’s post left me wondering what things might be hiding and forgotten beneath my seat cushions, down in the crevices in the back and next to the arms. Things that got left lying on the sofa when I threw on a new slip cover or added decorator accent pillows, an antimacassar over the back or matching covers on the arms.

I appreciated the analogy since that’s kind of what I’ve been doing down here in the cave for the last ten years or so — looking for forgotten pieces of my soul. And I guess I came away from Bridget’s post asking myself why the hell I’ve been trying all these years to keep up with the new “decorating trends.” Why have I been striving to be someone I’m not.

I suppose there’s a complex answer to that, but I have to say as I’ve been digging out these pieces of myself, prying them loose from the cavern walls, I’m remembering more and more of who I was meant to be from the beginning. And just like the things Michael Popek and Bridget found, every one of them has its own story to tell. I’m beginning to think that giving them a voice has been the best therapy I could ever have imagined.

Thanks, Bridget, for reminding me how valuable my surprising “finds” can be…