why untitled, unwritten?

I once labeled everything before it was written, until I found it kept too many words away. Now I am leaving the unwritten untitled, until it grows into a name.

Monday, June 23, 2014


Most days, I feel like I need to simplify, to reduce the number of objects in our home, filling cupboards and closets and bookshelves...

Sometimes it seems like there is stuff everywhere, even though this house is rather big for two people and we do have a lot of closets.  

But for me, many objects carry meaning and story.  There's a stack of Reader's Digest Condensed books arranged on a shelf.  Someone gave those to me at the end of their yard sale when I was a teenager--I bought one, and then they said "Want the box?" and I was so excited that I forgot to say thank you until my grandmother prompted me.  I rediscovered these books when my parents brought over boxes upon boxes from my old room at their house, and promptly arranged the stack.  

There's another pile of books on a shelf: my accidental collection of vintage editions of Pride and Prejudice.  It started with a surprise find: a beautifully illustrated 1940s edition at Goodwill.  Then, I found another that I loved, and another, and now I have four old copies of Pride and Prejudice.  This year, I'll start working on a Sense and Sensibility collection.  I'm a bit of an Elinor (okay, more than a bit).  

These books literally hold stories, but they also figuratively hold memories: the finding of a box of treasure in someone's driveway, the hot July air outside and the chilly breeze from the air conditioning inside at the Jane Austen Festival, sitting around a table for tea at the festival with some of my favorite women in the entire world--my mother, sister, aunt, grandmother, and friends who are like extra sisters and aunts, feeling the banister of the old, old staircase of the house at Locust Grove, finding that first book in a dusty Goodwill in the summer before I began graduate school, a summer when I figured out a lot about where my life was headed...

Objects hold story and memory, and that's why I will probably always collect them.