Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Not like an Egyptian

If I were an ancient Egyptian, Dan's things would be entombed with him. Instead there have been weeks of family members sorting through his belongings (we knew he was moving out of his place even before he died) and some of those things have come to live at my house. I've chosen a sweater I've never actually seen him wear, but keep it because I like it, draped over the chair at my desk. I have his orange sweatshirt on the back of my reading chair.

I have the delicately-shaped saz that hung on his bedroom wall (though he never really played them for me), the luminaria that sat on his dresser.

Whenever I stayed at his place, he fumbled the cranky lid open and lit a candle for us before we crawled into bed. Dozens of T'ai Chi books now rest atop the small chest of drawers where he kept his things in my room. His bass has taken up residence in another corner. I have iPad videos of him singing, a box of old T'ai Chi videos I've labelled "Tapes Dan may be in." I imagine myself late at night with a bottle of wine, cranking up the VCR, the remote in my hand, as a younger version of this man I loved takes shape on my TV screen. I have a roughly hewn bell and a gong that were stored in his garage, that for some reason delight me even though I'd never seen them in his house. I have the picture of his daughter that hung above his desk. As I sip my morning coffee, my lips can now kiss the car thermoses that held his morning brew. Every room holds something that was his. While some might find this morbid, these worldly possessions provide some version of comfort. I am happy to have these things in the land of the living and not entombed beyond my reach.

I also have a small silver key to a storage unit where, I'm told, more of his things are stored. I try to imagine it. A whole room of his possessions. I don't think I will go there--and it's only a temporary arrangement anyway. I imagine the inside to be a winding warren of chambers, cobwebs hanging from blocks of massive stone. Now there's a business concept. Storage units made to look like ancient pyramids.
interior detail from the Vista Theater in Hollywood
Wouldn't you love a storage unit presided over by this image?


Ms. Moon said...

Yes. To all of this.
Yes and yes and yes.

Andrea said...

I hope the comfort these things bring goes on and on and on.

Elizabeth said...

That first photo of beautiful Dan astonishes me.

37paddington said...

His energy remains in these things that give you comfort, these things that he chose.

Vesuvius At Home said...

This is all so tender and good. I'm new to your blog but I imagine, from his belongings, that Dan was the same.