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?”
“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…
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!