Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Heavy

Remember when we used to say that back in the sixties. "Heavy, man." Well, I'm talking literal heavy now. For the past few weeks I have sloooooowly been carrying Dad's book and record collection up to the loft so I can use the bookshelves for my art supplies and my own books.
Dad loved classical music and especially opera. He had hundreds of records. Sadly, his wonderful radio, CD player and turntable set up got hit by lightening and doesn't work or I'd keep some of these things at hand.
The stairway to the loft. I pray every time I climb these stairs. I finally devised a way to carry things and be able to use one hand on the rail.
Records or books are placed in a canvas sack. It's at the top of the stairway that lifting the heavy sack is hardest. But so far so good. It is just very slow. And I don't like to wear myself out so I only do a few sacks full each day. I feel sad sorting through these things that meant so much to Dad. I am wiping his presence out of the den, in a way, and installing my own presence. His ashes though, are still in a corner of the cabinet.

Today, Tuesday, I am heading off to the League of New Hampshire Craftsman fair. Should be fun. Be well, Suki

22 comments:

soulbrush said...

what a tender walk down memory lane....one has to do this sometimes to clear out the cobwebs in more way than one.

sixty-five said...

Is there a reason for saving all those heavy books and records? Someone else in the family who will use or appreciate them?

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

We now have a system called Freecycle where you can swap unwanted stuff with other people.

I heard a phrase once that entropy increases to fill the space provided, so you should be constantly looking at old things and asking - if i haven't used this for 2 years do i really need it. Easier said than done though!

sukipoet said...

Hi Soulbrush. I still havent visited your blog but will soon. Thank you for your words, it is a "tender walk" for sure. All the passions another person had, passions that cease, often, with their death.

Sixty-five. If it were up to me, I'd give these things away. I have resolved to have NO heavy things in my life, furniture, things etc. Or as few as possible. My brother wants to keep EVERYTHING. He's like my mom, he things there might be something valuable in there. He's the one who said to me: put them in the loft. Under other circumstances I guess he'd help me but right now he can't.

Pixies, we have Freecycle around here too. Back on Cape Cod I gave away a lot of my stuff via freecycle. The one up north here is kinda lack luster. But as I wrote above, I would want to shed these items completely, but the brother wants to keep them. He inherits the house. Supposedly I inherit the contents of the house. He has old picnic tables, barbeques, a pick up truck etc rotting in his back yard. Up here, my viewpoint (very similar to yours) would be considered "New Age" and flaky.

Annie said...

I agree with soulbrush. This will clear the way for you. Your dad is in your heart, not his "things", that always helps me when I have to disgard something that belonged
to someone I love who is no longer with me.Have fun at the fair.

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

Oh what a job you have. I couldnt get up those stairs for nothing. Brave you doing it with stacks of things going up them. Just be careful.
It seems like if YOU inherit the contents then THEY are the contents and you should be able to toss. But then nothing is ever in B&W is it.
Have fun at the fair today. Look forward to pictures.

Mary Richmond said...

oh this is hard, hard work....moving our parents things out is maybe one of the hardest things we do. pieces of our own lives are in these icons of our parent's lives...take your time.

and isn't there some place lower where they could go? one of these days they will have to come back down....

human being said...

heavy task indeed...
thank God you could devise a safe way to take them up...

and Suki, what is the quote on the canvas bag by Kafka?
he's one of my favorite writers... that's why i'm curious...
:)
and don't feel bad about moving you dad's things... i'm sure if he was alive he would be glad to give you more space...
and you know the important thing is that he is so alive and present in your heart... you have always wrote about him in loving and caring words...
hugs my dear friend...

sixty-five said...

I have had good results selling old books that "might be valuable" on half.com. It takes a little time, patience, and computer savvy, all of which I think you have. But you can start with just a few and see how it goes. As you enter books into the system you can see exactly what the book has previously sold for, so you know how to price it. And when you see that there are a thousand other copies available for ten cents it makes it a little easier to let go of it. Just a practical thought! I believe they take CD's as well, but not old LP records.

sukipoet said...

thanks annie. It's true, my dad is in my heart. And his things are still around, just put in another spot.

Cris, I totally agree. these contents which are supposedly to be mine should be mine to find a new home for. Mom, who currently is the owner of this stuff, would be happy for me to get rid of them. But my brother I have come to learn, holds on to all this stuff. Ego, I think. At any rate, due to the delicate situation with his wife, I'm not going to challenge him on this right now. Also, I guess I could just consider that he is the person I'm giving the stuff to. I honestly don't get the whole will picture. Why would my brother get two houses and I get none. Why would I with no house get the furniture etc. It is so bizzare to my mind that I can't even think about it. It makes no sense.

Anyway, thanks for your thoughts Cris.

Mary, I wish there were someplace lower. However, everything around here leaks. The workshop, the garage, and the front porch, all areas where things could be stored, are wet. They not only leak but water seems to rise up from the cement floor in the garage and workshop, soaking anything on it. The safest and dryest place is the loft. Well, I'm almost done. Only another 60 or so books and a few records.

human being, isn't that a great bag. Leave it to you to catch that quote. It is "A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us." Franz Kafka. It's on a cloth bag from Waterstone's bookshop in Boston. I found it in a thrift store and have used it endlessly ever since and often get stopped with comments re: the quote. I know you are right about my dad. Thanks for saying that he'd want me to have the space. You are right he would. He was always kind and generous to me. Be well, suki

glitz said...

Hi Suki,

This is my first visit to your blog - oh, how I love the zinnias!

I think it's rather a privilege to be able to quietly go through your Dad's music, then to use the space for yourself.

I also think we worry too much about clearing everything out - some items are history and are meant to be found by succeeding generations. So just putting it by in the loft till the spirit moves you or your family to deal with it again seems perfect to me!

Arohanui,

Lesley.

Lynn said...

It is sweet to save these records. Wonder if you are not listening to them if you'd consider selling them. Not to me, as DH has his boxes full too, but so others could enjoy them and they might bring money you could use? Just a thought.

Well, I just read some of the comments and found my answer.
Do be careful on the ladder.
The quilt btw is lovely. A family heirloom perhaps? Did your mom make that one?

Did feel some sadness thinking of your dads ashes in the corner.

WILSONART said...

Ah no,,,it's never easy going through the things, the remnants.

It's a shame you have to do all this hard work by yourself, but the reward is the space. I'm sure your Dad would want you to have it,,,he was a lover of the arts,(obviously),,,and would want you to have a place to create your own.
I hope you really enjoyed the fair,,,and that you'll be extra careful on the ladder.

katie jane said...

Suki, You are fortunate, in a way, that you have these treasures to sort through at your leisure. Even though it seems like a task, you are only moving them from one place to another. My dad died suddenly over 20 years ago and was living with my stepmother at the time. I wish I had saved more of his things because, as you say, his presence was just evaporated into thin air overnight. My stepmother scattered his ashes, so I don't even have that. Keep your treasures in a box in tha attic. You will feel at peace just knowing where they are.

sukipoet said...

Welcome Lesley. I think you are right, it is a priveledge to have the time to slowly go through Dad's precious things. They will be safe up there in the loft for whatever their fate may be. Oh a new word. Arohanui. Does that mean goodbye in???

Babs, sometimes I feel I am endlessly doing this sort of thing alone, though when I cleared out my house on Cape Cod i had many friends to help. Dad once said what he really wanted to be was a musician. What he was was a pathologist. It made me a little sad to think that he didn't follow his heart. You make me chuckle re: careful on the ladder. Doing my best. I wont attempt to bring the turntable up, it is too awkward and heavy. Need two people.

Lynn, the quilt is one I found in the garage. Mom has no memory of it. She said some stranger must have put it there. I assume it is one of the family made quilts. I will bring it inside my new studio soon. Mom has only made one quilt I think, and it's on my bed. My brother chose my dad's vase to put the ashes in without consulting with me. It is very ugly and heavy. Looks like a granite box. Mom chose this place for it. Where do you think I should place it???

Katie Jane, I'm sorry you ended up with no things of your Dad's after his death. That's too bad. It's nice to have momentos. With my sister in law, they have decided to divide her ashes. My brother will have some, and her brother will take some to California to scatter on the ocean. Mom, after seeing Dad's ashes, decided she wants to be buried.

Cestandrea said...

hi Suk, just a little hello from Germany, where I'm still sitting in front of the post office to get internet connection and keep in touch with you all:)
Take care, don't carry too heavy and have a wonderful time putting your own things on these shelf!
love
Andrea

sukipoet said...

Hello Andrea, how fun to hear from you. I hope your vacation is relaxing and wonderful. Thanks for stopping by. My brother now tells me I should not have put records in the attic, too hot. But I am not going to carry them down again. No way hosea.:0

glitz said...

Arohanui means much or big love or good feeling in Maori...aroha = love, warm emotions; nui = big or many.
so...
Arohanui,
Lesley.

Debbie in CA : ) said...

A potential backache and heartache all in one activity. That ladder would cause me to pause and wonder ... worth it? Yet, I too would need to establish a place of my own. Fear not, you do not wipe out his presence but merely move the material. Stuff can be representative, but it cannot be the presence. You'll always think of him as you create in his special place.

marianne said...

Oh I recognize the sadness.
Today I will go to Rotterdam to help my father sorting out thing. I'm wiping out his presence in his presence....... We have been doing this for weeks already.
I hope I will wipe out everything myself for the biggest part before my children have to.
Love >M<

sukipoet said...

Thanks Leslie for that info. Maori. Lovely. So, Arohanui to you. Suki

Debbie, you are so right. The stuff is not him, and his presence will always surround me, esp here in his special room.

Marianne, that is a big task you are doing, both physically and psychologically. I wonder how your dad is doing with it? I totally agree with you RE: tidying up my load of "stuff", if possible, before I die so as not to leave all this for my son. Mostly nowadays children have their own things and only want possibly small momentos from their parents. My friend F. when she was in her last year of life, she knew she would be dying soon, gave things away immediately almost on receiving them. She kept her life very spare in the end. Just making her sculptures of faces in clay. Amazing woman.

sukipoet said...

PS When I told my brother I'd carried the records up to the loft, he was upset. Records of vinyl are not supposed to be in the heat. Gulp. I told him, however, that I was not going to carry them all down. See, to me, that is the flaw in storing stuff. It always gets ruined one way or the other. In my mind the best thing to do is pass this stuff on to someone who wants it and will use it. Although my brother thinks he wants it and will use it. I guess. Well, I've done wrong.