Posts Tagged ‘Keepsake by Kristina Riggle’

Do what you can, where you are, with what you have. (Teddy Roosevelt)                      

I am in the process of returning the smaller items to their place in our house after our floors were refinished: the good dishes, books, our beloved wooden bird collection, and family photos. Our second floor storage area is temporarily in danger of mimicking scenes from Keepsake, by Kristina Riggle. Trish, the main character, is threatened with the possibility of losing custody of her son, injured by boxes stacked to the ceiling—although she will not admit that she is a hoarder. She doesn’t have time to organize. She tells her son, “Mommy isn’t perfect.” Her son accepts their life as normal.

No one, fictional or shouting into a microphone over public media, has arrived at a be-all, know-all state. My husband and I could have hurried less when we shuffled our possessions out of the way of the going-to-be-there-tomorrow work crew. However, we were also packing for a trip to the west coast as well as babysitting for our youngest granddaughter. Now I look at the boxes, stored by what I could name the Helter-Skelter-Give-It-To-Us-And-We’ll-Lose-It Storage Company­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­. Where should I start? One step at a time seems the only way to go. If I attempt to embrace the whole I could give up before beginning. I have decided to simplify, choose only a few items for the windowsills, breakfront, and coffee table. But which items?

To discover what matters and what doesn’t—this is my current focus. As I read Riggle’s story I see layers unveiled: dirty corners inside rooms and hurt corners inside lives. I can view a situation and think I know what is there, yet be unaware of how the essence of it works. Deciding what goes where is relatively simple; why people do what they do may or may not be.

I decide not to rush. The need is no longer present. The floors are finished and gleaming. On the haphazard second floor I am mining for gold; there is treasure in this pile of stuff. In a corner I find a pitcher painted by my husband’s grandmother. I never met her. She died long before I dated my husband. Her work is exquisite. She stopped painting after she married. As an individual with a creative nature I am saddened that she saw it as an interference in her role as wife and mother.

There is no point in investigating what cannot be changed, except perhaps through a wildly disguised fictional story. Her beautiful pitcher hid on top of our breakfront for years before we had our floors refinished. I decide to give her work prominent placement, closer to the bright floor, to where we live—a metaphor for cleaning-up the basics first, choosing the best and starting from there.

As I position the art on the open surface I pray that I live each day well enough that I leave something good in a corner that repels the dust and shines out.  Distant tomorrows are not my business. Using this moment well, is.


Isabelle's pitcher



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