I travel back into history when shopping at yard sales. Every yard sale has its own family story. There’s the young couple getting divorced, the aged woman whose husband recently died, the farmer whose business folded. I walk through so many lives at yard sales. I fantasize about the owners’ stories over time. So many lives blend into each other.
I bought a wooden school desk and chair. How many anxious children sat in that chair? How many put their bubble gum on the underside? The desk has an ink hole. Who gently and slowly dipped their pen in the ink hole writing a short story to read to the class? Why did the school close? Or was the desk dumped for more modern desks?
I furnished my first New Haven apartment with yard sale items — a round, wooden coffee table, metal kitchen table, glasses and ceramic bowls, a framed copy of a Picasso painting.
Who do I sit with at the kitchen table? How many lives ate cereal, or soup, from my bowls?
At times I am alone, but never lonely. How many souls sat around my wooden coffee table, chatting and laughing, maybe crying. I drink wine with them. They share their stories with me. I write their histories, my fantasies, their lives forever remembered, in the yard sales of time.
I mediate on Picasso’s “Woman and Child.” I see me and my mother, who died when I was six. I look at the pictures of her holding me at the zoo, on a blanket in the park; her eyes a little dark and tired in some. I wonder, when she held me, if that was the beginning of her pain. I am alive with the memory of her walking me to my first kindergarten class, laughing, me trying to walk in step with her. So few memories; so many expectations thwarted by cancer.
Do you dream or fantasize about the past – what if? Or about the future – what may be? Or do you try to stay in the current moment, fully present, open to what may be, not habitually or repetitively wrestling with the thoughts of the past or the future? Living your imagination in the present? Not easy. Definitely challenging.
Let’s share. Would enjoy hearing from you.
2019 © Roberta S. Kuriloff