A Life Interrupted

‘The house was a breccia of affections.  Everything was wind-worn or sea-worn, old and odd, mostly only of personal value.

A dozen ships in bottles, a map of the moon.  An old sea chest with black iron ribs arching across the lid.  A glass case across one wall with a jumbled collection of fossils.  Sills with fantastic shells, stones, bottles of blue glass, of red glass.  Postcards.  Driftwood.  Candlesticks made of ceramic, wood, brass, glass.  Oil lamps of every conceivable size and shape.  Door-knockers of different sizes, each shaped like a hand…

When I saw your jumble of sandals by the door, I saw my parents’ shoes, which after their deaths retained with fidelity not only the shape of their feet, but they way they walked, the residue of motion in the worn leather.  Just as their clothes still carried them, a story in a rip, a patch, their long sleeves.  Decades stored there, in a closet or two.  A house, more than a diary, is the intimate glimpse.  A house is a life interrupted.’

– Anne Michaels, Fugitive Pieces