I was talking to my mom yesterday about an old couch. It is yellow and brown and orange, all those dingy colors of the 70’s, and it lives in the room in their house we call the Addition. The couch collects stuff: empty boxes and wrapping paper and old bills and pieces of mail. It intercepts items whose intended homes are elsewhere.
Yesterday, it was my mom’s goal to clear off that couch. She wanted to rid it of clutter. She wanted to put all of the things that had gathered there where they belong. She was telling me about this daunting project, explaining how hard it is to keep that particular space clutter-free. That couch so easily becomes …
… a gathering place. I finished the sentence for her. And that got me thinking about, well, gathering places. These are spaces that need to exist so we can dump or be free or let go. I started thinking about my own gathering places. Here are some:
-my journal, to dump words and ideas and sort through it all later
-the hope chest at the foot of my bed, which is like a magnet, pulling objects into its field around it (clothes, books, stray socks …)
-church, to surround myself with other imperfect people and purge our sins
Heck, this blog can even be a gathering place. Of words. Ideas. Art. Maybe even of something beautiful.
What are your gathering places? Some may be obvious, physical spaces like a bar or a community center. But others, less so. Think about it. Where do you go to collect, dump, let go?