It sounds morbid but I took the advice of this Swedish author and I’m “death cleaning.” I started with my clothes closet last week (at least thirty outfits gone; did anyone want my tie-dye tees? I couldn’t part with my wedding gown yet) and moved on for the last two days to my files (three large black bags so far; old love letters in there from men I don’t remember). Next come photos. ( I’ll digitize those I want and send the rest to whoever else is in them.) Kitchen gadgets are on my list (how many onion peelers does a person need?). It’s hard, but old birthday cards have to go, except the ones from my recent 75th birthday. I’m not ready to give them up. My students are getting the earrings I don’t wear anymore (If they don’t make a statement, out they go, the statement being, “It’s not trash, it’s flash). I’m going to force myself to go through my 10,000 book library (I’m keeping the BuJew (Jewish-Buddhist ) treatises, which keep me centered and remind me of who I am but the novels have to go (except for Fitzgerald and Hesse). By spring the house should be half empty except for the dolls and dollhouse miniatures, which will move on to Lady Cora one day, who probably won’t want them. What I will never, ever give up are my canine and feline loves: Toby, Elizabeth, Duncan, Gilda, Marlo, Estella, and Trouble. Of course, in time, they will leave me, which will make living almost as hard as dying.
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