Saturday, October 9, 2010


Chair similar to the one I am discussing.

Sometime at the end of summer I realized I needed to shed a few things from my home. I know spring is often the time that people experience that need to clean and organize but I am slower on the uptake. For me fall is a time of renewal so I think this is why the urge to purge struck me. Additionally, I needed to make room for our new tenants which meant emptying out my guest room. I have been trying to absorb the overflow in several ways but there are a few things that seem to need to just go. For example, how many saddles does a person who no longer owns a horse need? I have two. One Western, from my childhood and one English, from recent times when I bought a horse in-utero after my mother died and I had some money to spare. I have tried to sell this saddle without success and now it is in my living room, being shifted from spot to spot. I want to get rid of it but there is a part of me that holds out hope that one day I will be able to use it again. It's worth a reasonable amount of money and has been barely used which should itself be a testament to exactly why I don't need it, even when I had a horse I barely used it so why should I expect to use it in my now, horseless state. I sold the horse 6 yrs ago but the dream lives on.

The other thing now occupying space in my living room is a danish modern chair that belonged to my parents, most recently to my mother. I need to quantify "recent" here. She died 13 yrs ago. This chair and one similar to it have been in my possession since then. One of the chairs is on loan to a friend. The remaining chair is functionally useless. The design is a minimal marvel, it has a lovely teak frame but the chair back itself is not supported by the frame and so sitting upright in it is impossible. The shape looks great but as soon as any weight is applied, you might as well be in a chaise lounge. Throughout my youth I recall innocent visitors to our house who were drawn to this chair were warned of it's shortcomings. Basically no one sat in it, ever. One of my mother's boyfriends attempted to fix it once, using some L-brackets to strengthen the connection between the seat and back but I had the chair recovered at some point and this work was undone rendering the chair once again fragile and useless. I must add here too that we are not small people. My entire family is tall and reasonably heavy. So I have this bloody chair in my living room and it's useless and I can't seems to part with it but I must. I feel that getting rid of it will be like giving away a bit of mother, a bit of my youth. In Smithers where I grew up we were anomalies I think. We had all this stylish, highly uncomfortable furniture, now called mid-century modern. We had a sea grass rug that covered the linoleum tile, if you spent too much time on your knees, you'd come away with deep grooves in your flesh. It was minimal and cold, unfussy and not that inviting but the parents dug it. The family couch, which needs recovering is in my office. I have a drop cloth on it and the dog sleeps there daily.

Why am I hanging onto all this stuff? I may ride again, I may not. I am certain that if I do, the horse I ride will probably have it's very own saddle. My living room is small and Mark bought me an Eame's lounge chair and ottoman for my birthday one year so I have a chair to sit in that does not throw me into a full recline or require any explanation as to how to use it or what to expect once you have sat in it. Chairs should be that way, you should just be able to sit in them without any trouble. But still there is this nagging feeling I have that I am being wasteful, getting rid of these potentially useful things. I have considered giving the saddle away, both the saddles in fact, and also this chair to a person who does upholstery and who could potentially fix it up and sell it as a useful item. But, it's a hurdle to step over to say a little good-bye to the past. Would my mother mind if I abandoned the chair? It's not her, it's an object and not even a very useful object. Probably not. Sometimes just the act of writing it all down is useful in helping me see the lunacy of what I am clinging to.

1 comment:

Dreaming said...

Having just moved, and trying to downsize, I totally understand where you are coming from when you talk about emotions (and so much more) attached to objects.
Having 4 saddles of my own, I have decided that like shoes, one can never have too many saddles!

Good luck!

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