Friday, February 12, 2016

The Comfort of Things


I'm trying really hard to be content these days. Or maybe I mean, it's really hard for me to find contentment as of late. 

As a child, I carried around a tattered and disgusting blanket. It was shreds of the beautiful thing it started as by the time a man at the car wash grabbed it and tossed it in with the other rags he'd used to detail the seat. Yes, my beloved blanket was gone under the guise of a detailing cloth. 

I was devastated and sure I'd never sleep soundly again. I cried to myself in a bed that felt lonely without those stinky scraps of cotton to call security blanket. I didn't know how I'd manage without it. But I did. Actually, I upgraded her to an old sweatshirt of my mom's that I stole from her closet when she went away for a weekend with her sister and mom. 

I wrapped that sweatshirt -in all it's over-sized glory- around my body. I took it to bed over my pajamas, wore it while I watched morning cartoons, and shed it only to change my shirt really quick. The attachment grew and that blanket was my comfort in the absence of my mama. 

All this to prove: things comfort me. 

This isn't new to me as evidenced by my scrappy shreds of quilt and sweatshirt gone security blanket. But, in the emotional chaos of the last few months, I find myself begging things to make my soul cozy. Amazon, Target, and all the regular offenders offer all the things I could ever need or want or simply love to put in my cart. 

I'm trying to find a comfortable place that balances things with needs (and an occasional want). 

It seems I should have a challenge here. Something that says I won't buy anything for the next 30 days or that I will purge my closet down to 30 items per season or devote myself to minimalism. But, I don't want to set myself up for failure or for frustration or for any more to work through in my mind. 

So I'm just going to promise to write it all down. 

The aching moments, the deep longing, lists of the things I want but don't need will be devoted to paper with pen. I guess I've promised to find contentment through confession. As though committing each of my whims to a physical place might allow me to breathe a sigh of relief. It is putting those words down will strip off that decades old sweatshirt that's tattered and smelly and no better at providing me with comfort than a concrete floor.

When I can stop worrying about how to hide my dirty comfort sweatshirt, my guess is I'll run into Him. I'll stop being so distracted by my embarrassment and start engaging with comfort that is real, deeply rooted, and not contingent on this season's latest trends. It'll be cozy in a way that feels like a childhood home, like risotto topped with fresh shavings of Parmesan atop, like flannels washed dozens of times.  

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