Closets, much as I like to try and keep up with them, are often a repository of past and present fashion sins and out-of-the-way incidentals and necessities. I’ve piled Isabella’s closet so it’s starting to border on the dysfunctional , and I know I’m going to need to start doing something about it, in spite of the mounds of work I need to do at any given time of my school year, never mind during the holidays. It’s maddening.
To sort takes time. To consider what’s good or bad inside that closet will require discipline of choice, and thoughtfulness: which toys should be keepsakes and which should others come to enjoy? The same for clothes--and organizing them by size. What about all those supplies I’m not using, from her infancy? And shoes that don’t fit? What can become useful again, and what do I pack away in remembrance of her early years? I’m coming to find that even the simplest things--in fact, especially the simplest-- are often the hardest to discern, achieve, work on.
In wonder I consider the kinds of stockpiled emotions, regrets, hopes, and joys my psyche has and will experience. How to sort these, make sense of them, and make room for the joy that Advent presents to us. Clean out the cobwebs of my deferred self and make room for anticipation, faith, and blind, child-like trust that we all so fancy at this time of year, but never fully grasp, and leave to the innocence of children.
I want that child-like trust back. I want it so bad it’s a problem, because here I have in my closet my anger and frustration about so many things--anger I need sort through, picking out righteous anger and making good use of it, and discarding incidental, superfluous anger altogether. Taking angst and tossing it into recycling for another day which needs the adrenaline it causes. Embracing instead a simple view of myself, pared down to necessities, the extras at bay.
I know I’ll need return to the closet again and again as Isabella grows, and rebuild it by breaking it down to its pieces. I’ll trust I can see the need for pruning before everything just spills out, cartoon-like, onto the floor. In light of recent events--I wrote this before the shootings in Connecticut--I can’t think of a more suitable time to start working on breaking the self of hard habits, of heavy burdens, and sharing these. Of becoming community by making room for each other in our hearts and lives. That’s the smallest of spaces where the Spirit can enter and make all things possible, even the seeming impossible.