Sunday, 17 May 2009

The Corner of Our Universe

(The Corner of Our Universe: Chris' Kitchen in Atlanta)

So this is it. A week ago I began dismantling my house at Pierce Avenue. As if it weren't difficult enough to deconstruct my HOME, I decided to torture myself with a yard sale.

Southerners share a particular penchant for yard sales. In fact, the largest of them runs along the I-127 corridor just a few hours away from Oxford. Last weekend in town there were 25 yard sales listed in the classified section of the local paper. My listing was among them:

1___ Pierce Avenue. 7 AM. Furniture. Art. Household Goods. Everything goes!

It was optimistic, and at first -- as I watched the sun rise over the neighborhood -- I was too. Then people began to arrive. They picked things up and I watched as they scrutinized how my belongings might fit into their lives. What do you with these?, one woman asked holding up a tart plate. I wanted to tell her about the roasted pears with marscapone or the potato gratin I once baked in them, but as I was about to speak she proclaimed that they would become saucers for her houseplants. She bought all six.

Inside my house these banal parts of my life made sense, but on the lawn they were disparate. Is context the key to feeling good about the arrangement and meaning of things that comprise our homes? I hope so. Next week my boyfriend (yes, the one I fell madly for at our bestfriends' wedding) and I will be living together. We'll be merging our two worlds -- both of which are sharply defined -- into one space. I love him for wanting to share his corner of the universe with me. Home, no doubt, will grow deeper with meaning.

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