There comes a time when we all face letting go. It may
be someone in our lives, a beloved pet, a lost relationship
or even objects that we own.
It’s a funny thing about possessions, how we attach emotions and moments in time to an object, as if it could retain all of the sentiments we felt. This week gifted me the opportunity practice the art of letting go. In the beginning, I was comfortable and excited about the process, until I let a slew of memories slide into view.
In the mid 90’s I bought a recliner, to replace the worn out monster sized one that I had inherited years before. It wasn’t a top of the line brand, but a good quality chair nonetheless.
The recliner became the equivalent of a security blanket for me. When I don’t feel good, I rarely go to bed, I go straight to the recliner. The recliner has seen me through walking pneumonia, bronchitis, stomach bugs, gall bladder surgery, four major dental surgeries, migraines, a severe sprain that kept me on crutches for five months and a bandaged, bruised up leg with thirty-seven stitches. I’ve slept many nights in the recliner for one reason or another.
It comforted me through the end of several relationships. You know the kind, the ones where you were convinced ‘this is it’ and then it wasn’t. The recliner heard more than once the declarations “I love you” and “I don’t love you anymore.” The well-worn fabric contains the remains of thousands of tears and thankfully, many well-deserved laughs and giggles.
The recliner became my travel companion, venturing to off to Santa Fe, my trusted accessory in five of the six homes I inhabited in New Mexico. It made its way to the Bay Area in California and then finally back here to Texas.
Each of my beloved Boston Terriers had their place in the recliner, starting with Maggie, followed by Jeremiah and Sage, who demanded a place on each armrest and left me little room to move. Now, my little Zoey believes the chair is her domain. It is amazing the comfort of a dog snuggled up in your lap when you are down, tired or just feel like crap.
I’ve rocked babies in this chair, read novels, composed editorials and poetry, talked for hours on end until my cell phone battery red lined. I’ve listened to friends, offering counsel, receiving the same. Rallies and protests for Indian Country were planned in this chair and way too many hours watching television.
Naps are a rarity for me, but they too, take place in the now threadbare recliner. It’s not the comfy cocoon it once was, and truth be told, it can be quite uncomfortable. The once cushioned seat and leg rest now feature the density of hard wood and metal. Yet, time and time again, it calls to me, the favored place of rest and comfort, the symbiotic relationship of emotional contentment, soothing the soul and consoling the edginess of a difficult day.
I considered having it reupholstered, until I realized it simply was not cost effective, especially considering the replacement of some of the mechanics of the reclining action. All too many times, on its own accord, the chair has lurched out of the reclining position in a futile attempt to catapult me to the floor. Perhaps in its own way, the recliner is showing me it is time to let go.
As with any emotional attachment, it is difficult to let go. For me, it is not an attachment to the physical object; it is an attachment to my past, to emotions and memories. There is a lesson in letting go, of relinquishing ideas of control, and embracing the release of the old in order to move to the new.
I will miss my faithful companion, the pleasures and the pain. It will be a while before I can replace it, but the memories will remain and at some point, I will curl up in the quiet serenity of a new recliner and create again.
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