I have always said that I am not someone who fits into boxes. I despair of questionnaire people (is there a proper word for them?) knocking on my door, trying to get me to answer which box I fit into, for example: employed, unemployed, housewife… I don’t know… some of them, all of them, none, all at the same time, I feel like saying. I don’t know if I’m just awkward, exacting, overcomplicated, super-diverse, or if everyone has the same problem.
My other issue with boxes is living out of them. Since I left Uni, nine years ago most of my life has been packed into boxes. And now we have our own house, still there are boxes everywhere, waiting, waiting for that perfect, box-unpacking moment to come along. They fill me with dread. And disgust at myself, Miss Voluntary-Simplicity-Woman is the not-so-proud possessor of score upon score of boxes of possessions. And my husband seems to have none. But then I am known to him and my friends as the go-to gal – you need a book on just about any subject from back ache to 2012, a novelty bottle opener, embroidery thread in any colour under the sun – you name it, I have it! And I am SO anti-commercialism! And hoarding! And “stuff” in general.
So anyway, as you can see, I beat myself up for this. And then I had a look at the boxes still waiting to have something done to them, and with the exception of the hideous mound of boxes in the utility room which are full of strange bits and pieces that will never have a proper home found for them. Apart from the fabrics waiting to be made into quilts and other creative projects, and notes waiting for future writing and teaching projects, the rest are actually boxes of love: boxes of my grandmother’s love letters, diaries and correspondence; my own love letters; a box of our wedding cards and programmes and memorabilia, other cards, photographs, letters, diaries. Boxes of love. Boxes of words and memories. How lucky I am to have boxes full of love to look back on, to sift through, to cry over and to warm me to the tips of my toes.