One of the things I loved about flying in airplanes when I was a kid were the clouds.
I would press my face to the window and dream.
In my child-world there were fairies who danced on the clouds. This was their home.
I could climb out of the window and frolic on the white puffs with them. The clouds easily supported our miniscule weight and we could clamber around the cumulus towers and play hide-and-seek in the billows.
Somewhere along the line I lost touch with my fairies.
I also stopped enjoying flying on airplanes.
I am not sure if my loss of the fairies and my dislike of flying coincided, but I would hazard a guess that they were. Perhaps I need my friends in the clouds.
For the past few years, I’ve been taking night flights. This last time I took a trip on an airplane, the flight left mid-afternoon. I was able to press my face to the window.
I wondered if my fairy friends were frolicking in the clouds far away.
I imagined that they were having a merry time out there.
It was a lovely flight.
I hope I always remain a person who will trip over my own feet while walking because I have my head tilted back, gazing at the night sky and the brilliance of the stars.
As I wade through the boxes I have in storage, I wonder why I keep all this stuff. I have too much stuff. When I was 19 I drove across country to start a new life with only as much stuff as would fit into my little Honda Civic hatchback. With room to spare.
When I think about how much stuff I have, I can not help but conjure up the image of the Junk Lady from the movie “Labyrinth” who carries her house and all her stuff on her back. She is bent over and wizened from the burden.
But…but… I need all my stuff! It’s important!
I have archaic technology taking up boxes, clothes I haven’t seen since 2002, newspaper article clippings, and a usb mouse I never used.
That stuff I can consolidate and give or throw away.
I also have boxes of my dad’s stuff. His old photo albums, writings, sketch books full of his doodles, letters he wrote to various friends and family…. How long do I keep that stuff? Forever? He is gone, but his stuff lives on in perpetuity? For what purpose?
At what point does stuff become a burden? I have a friend who purges every year. Okay, that’s her closet, but at least it’s something. I know we are supposed to keep tax forms for a multitude of years, but those old VHS tapes? How often are those boxed up items really used? If they haven’t been touched in a year, how important are they really?