Saturday, September 08, 2007

Candlelight Debris

A decade ago when CrafterKat and I were in our Celestial Phase, we would routinely go to the little craft showcases over the holidays or visit the outdoor markets on the weekends. We often ended up with little hand-crafted soaps, copper twisty rings with a bead through the center, ceramic pitchers to hold kitchen implements, a bag or article of clothing with stars and moons, or honeycombed candles in bright Christmas colors. On one such trip to the Portland Saturday market, we purchased a candle holder that mounts to the wall. You cleverly put the candle on the little stand and the mirror on the back illuminates the flame. In my mind, this simple wooden plank was, in actuality, a piece of Dark Ages technology and fit our castle home accordingly; if we had more money, I’m sure we would have lined the stairwell with them (to the feast hall bedrooms).

When the Renaissance-skilled crafter unhooked the ever-affordable torch plank from the wall, we noticed why it was so reasonably priced. The mirror on the back of the plank was secured with non-medieval, very twentieth century duct tape. Still, we love this little gem and have it mounted by our bedroom door.

The problem is we rarely remember it is—it is simple ornamentation.

Unless the thirteenth century is thrust upon us as it was Wednesday night.

Six houses in our neighborhood lost power that night. I talked with our neighbors at 7:20 while CrafterKat and Critter were out purchasing items from the Oh-And-My-Teacher-Said-We-Need-This-Too list. “PGE says it will be back on by 7:30,” she told me.

By 8:00, I was lighting candles, including our special duct-taped torch, and combing through the little drawers in our bathroom vanity looking for a hair twisty. Instead, I found a decade of memories and mysteries.

The candlelight was extremely helpful. Or the fact that the darkness was mostly all-encompassing; I had no problem sorting things into Keepers and Keep Not-ers. I tossed lipstick shades I hadn’t worn since before Critter arrived in our lives, suction cups from some failed organizational system that no longer stuck to anything, a single fake ivy leaf from a never-dusted (and therefore tossed) fake plant. An empty bag of razors and an equally empty hotel sewing kit. I amassed a pile of complimentary shampoos, conditioners, and hand lotions for the downstairs guest bathroom.

Box lids with the Clarol hair color I chose three years ago went into the trash. Along with the extra sets of hair coloring plastic gloves that never fit your hands correctly (but might fit the Desert Engineer). Singleton barrettes that had lost their hair mate? Gone. Rusty, dime-sized baby pins? Tossed. Safeway Pharmacy bags, empty of their medication? Chucked. Housing confirmation for a Bella Beach vacation rental? Shredded. The lid to a Feliway jar (as opposed to something from Milliways which would have been in the Keeper pile)? Pitched.

And the memories? I kept those.

Two sheets of paper with scribbled animal doodles from a trip Critter and I took to the coast. A random Tuesday love note. A magazine clipping on how to make a Kir, a Dijon classic beverage. An antique ceramic pin which must have come from my mother. My hospital bracelet from April. The koa wood barrette CrafterKat’s parents gave me from Hawaii.

I’m still uncertain how such an array of things ended up in just three little bathroom drawers. Perhaps it was dark and I couldn’t find a candle.