DIGGING UP THE PAST

Vintage in my Etsy shop

Giant Barbie in 1980’s Vintage Outfit

DIGGING UP MY PAST
It is probably another “age-thing”, but for the past few weeks it seems everything I do somehow recalls ‘old stuff’ for me. Reminiscences and memories, yes, but also real physical “stuff” as well. I have been digging through my closets and assorted piles of stored items and miscellaneous unused things around the house. I am obsessed with the need to clear things out, get rid of useless and unused items, shed old unsolved problems, and generally cleanse my conscience. I am horrified to see what a Pack Rat I have become. I throw almost nothing away.

Empty boxes clutter my studio closet, kept with the idea that I might need them for shipping things I want to sell online. Of course, when I do sell something they can come in handy, but most of the time the ones I have don’t fit the item I sold and I have to get a box from the PO. This clutter is at the most mundane level, along with cleaning out my messy carport. But other diggings become more poignant, more heart-felt or heart-rending.

My study is crammed with files of papers from everything I’ve ever done. Again, I am loathe to throw any written material out. There are reams of now meaningless internet program instructions, emails, and news blurbs. Yet among those are some surprisingly precious pieces such as letters and cards from friends and bits of my own writing that I am delighted to find. Sometimes I even uncover something that turns out to be useful for some current project. So, of course I end up sorting through it all and dredging up both good and bad from my past.

In an attempt to get organized about all this, I make plans to sell, give away, or donate selected items from among my treasure-trove. Many things I just can’t give up and will cling to til I take my leave and some poor souls will be left trying to sort it out… or just burn it all down!

There are BOOKS by the hundreds on shelves, in boxes, and in piles around every room. These I have been selling bit by bit through Amazon for the past few years. But I still add new ones at about the same rate that I sell old ones! They will still be here for the unfortunate individuals left to sort through.

I have been a collector of Fashion Dolls for many years. These occupy nearly every surface and wall space in my living room and bedroom. They have become co-occupants of my house. They feed my alter-ego with its narcissistic need for glamor, for reminders of my own younger vogues of style and my fantasies of cool. The dolls will not leave soon. Although I may sell some of them in time to come, others are here to stay as long as I do.

But, in the same vein, I have a large accumulation of my best old clothes from my past “glamour days” in the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s. Vintage items now__ Boho, mod, vogue and chick__ some are even back in style. Others are timeless pieces that would look good in any era. Unfortunately few of them fit me anymore. Those that will, no longer feel right for my current very casual life-style.  So this is the stuff that I am now  digging through… and it stirs so many memories! Oh! The romance! Oh! The longing! Oh! The joy! I think we never realize, when young, how beautifully we may recall ourselves when looking through the memory-spectacles of later years.

This week I got prepared to list some of these vintage outfits in my Etsy shop. In order to do this, I bought (off Ebay) a full size mannequin. I assembled her, with the help of a friend. When I dressed her in one of my favorite old costumes I was shocked to see I had got myself a Giant Barbie Doll! We named her Blondie. This photo is the first one I have now posted to sell on Etsy. So, with her help, I can begin to shed a few of those pesky bits of guilt.

About Manywoman

I am an eclectic artist and writer, retired from a 35-year career as a PhD sex therapist and counselor at the University of MN Medical School, Program in Human Sexuality. Since retiring in 2005, I have devoted myself to hobbies and pursuits in various art forms and in writing. My art and writing both tend to focus on subjects of women's spirituality and occult mysteries, I read voraciously in most genres, but mainly Occult and urban fantasy, historical fiction, and non-fiction alternative history and religions from female perspective. In addition I am a lover of cats, with five at home with me; an avid collector of fashion dolls; a sewer and creator of art quilts and other fiber arts; a hap-hazard flower gardener; and a retired professional astrologer.
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