I have a thing about boxes… They don’t have to be fancy, or decorative, I am just as appreciative of a sturdy, well-made cardboard box that holds the promise of things put neatly away as I am of ornamental boxes made from rosewood that once held tea leaves to satin lined jewellery boxes.

I like the symmetry of neatly stacked storage boxes that hold mementos from my sons’ childhoods, every mangled clay dish, smudged finger painting and files of certificates and achievement awards.

Not that I’m a hoarder. Far from it.

“Mum, where’s my…” – fill in as appropriate

“Have you used it in the past two weeks?”

“No…”

“Well I probably threw it away…”

I’ve seen some television programmes where the people hoard to excess, and mountains of newspapers, broken electrical items etc. line the rooms of their houses, leaving them a three foot gap in which to shuffle round. That, to me, is unbearable – all they need is a few nice, strong boxes to but all their things in, they can even label them, then – job done!

My cats share my box obsession. I have watched with amusement as my younger black cat, who is somewhat generously proportioned, settled herself in a box more designed for guinea pigs, her spare fur spilling over the sides, like overflowing muffin mix. I have walked past a box that I have yet to fill and shrieked with surprise as a tabby paw flashes out to grab my ankle. However, they do not extend their enthusiasm to the cat carriers – I have these left these out, made them part of the house furniture, just as you’re supposed to… the cast must sense its change of purpose when it’s time to go to the vets, as they do the most extraordinary manoeuvre of telescoping in on themselves, then re-directing their bodies away from the door to escape…

I have discussed my box obsession with my therapist…

“What do these boxes symbolise for you, Samantha?”

“Well, nothing really, I just put stuff in them.”

“And what do you do with the bad feelings?”

“Put them in plastic bags and throw them away…”

*Puzzled and slightly distressed silence from therapist.*

Actually, I suppose I could have told him that in a sense, it’s a coping mechanism for me, environment controlling when I feel that things are getting out of hand… Sometimes I even put boxes in boxes – imagine the satisfaction…

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LOOK! ROCKS IN A BOX!

Also, in a way, perhaps I am preparing for my final box… Nothing fancy kids, just a good strong cardboard box and leave me out with the recycling!

All photos were taken by my son!

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11 thoughts on “Boxes.

  1. By the time I’d finished this last session of therapy I knew all about his phobia of worms, how he was bullied as a child etc..I wasn’t really any further forward but I hope I helped him come to terms with himself…Your wood collection sounds amazing and beautiful! What else do you make? You should do a blog and post some pics, bet people would love to see them! We had a eucalyptus tree in the garden which sadly had to be cut down as the roots had broken into the sewage pipe system. I was really upset, the wood smelled lovely, so “he” made a bench from it. Trees are incredible,adaptable and versatile – I only recently found out that brazil nuts come in a big pod…I’ve some amazing countertops made from granite with tiny fossils in it. I keep telling my son he should do a photo blog with his rocks, he’s very good with a camera- I’m rubbish…that pic has amethyst, bottom left,sunstone just above that,pyrite top left, citrine in the middle,apatite bottom right and top right, charoite..
    My cats make me laugh with paper bags, my Siamese and her sister usually end up fighting inside them and ripping the whole thing to shreds!

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  2. My son was horribly bullied at school, so I actually took him out of it when he was 13, homeschooled for six months while we were waiting for his college application to be approved, he got in and hasn’t looked back since. I despise bullies and those who do it simply because the person doesn’t fit it with their pre-conceived notion of what is “normal” are the worst. I’m glad you stood up for the teacher… You sound really creative… I footle about with a bit of sketching, but only when the cats are sleeping as it takes me quite a while to get it right..My son is really interested in the food nutrition side of things, he’s vegetarian so obviously has to be aware of his diet. As I said in my answers, I am not a big foodie, I have a few issues but I love Mediterranean food, and fish. I’m not a big meat eater, but when I do, I try to eat with gratitude and thanks for the animal’s sacrifice…What a shame about your dad’s stuff, but that’s families for you.. I’ve had similar experiences…
    Your woodworking creations sound amazing! Think about putting some pics on, I bet people would love to see them! It makes them special too with the background info…No,.you don’t talk too much, it’s interesting! My son is putting a couple of pictures up for my next post soon,.he’s definitely got an eye for it and hopefully will be starting his own blog after his exams are finished…

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  3. How absolutely shocking. Your poor daughter and you too, parents suffer agonies of guilt when they realise what their kid has been going through. I’ll never forgive myself for what I put my son through..your daughter was so lucky to have your support and understanding. It sounds like school principals are the same all over, I got a similar response to yours. I try to eat healthily…chocolate biscuits sometimes get in the way! My oldest son has an irrational hatred of courgettes(zucchini) but I quite like this mackerel and rice thing my mum does at the moment!

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    1. He muttered something vague about not liking the texture of them. I love them, they’re so versatile and I even managed to grow a massive plant one year… Hydroponic sounds interesting, very clever way of growing them, I’m afraid I just tend to stick everything in and hope for the best…

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    1. Man is very good at destroying the planet’s resources for their own use, luckily there are no nuclear plants near us (England) and at the moment, the big thing here is fracking. Personally, I think we should have more wind turbines because at least that is clean and sustainable. We saw some on our way to London once and although they are considered an ‘eyesore’, they have an imposing alien presence of their own. Currently, our seafood is okay, most of the fresh stuff is brought overnight from the coasts and ports and distributed inland. Obviously it makes sense to eat seasonal food as that is also cheaper and I’m sure I’ve heard that’s supposed to better for you?

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  4. Do you get these feelings with regard to your daughter as well? I get really strong senses of when something is not right or going to happen. I wish I’d learned to trust these feelings earlier, would have saved a lot of bother…

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