Wednesday, April 29, 2009

the keeping of things

The above image is a piece called Sonja created by Stockholm based artist Anders Krisar. It's fabricated from the clothing of a woman who kept every garment from infancy to old age.

At first instinct, the thought of keeping every piece of clothes seems akin to the cat lady mentality. Hoarding for the sake of hoarding. But, unlike the keeping of cats, who I see as horrid fur beasts that only bring forth allergy induced agony, the keeping of clothes is an impulse I understand. Clothes in many ways reflect our personal history, our stories line every disassembled stitch, every lost button.

So I don't throw things away. I live a life of perpetual clutter. I keep every book, every knick-knack, I have folders entirely made of postcards and tickets stubs. There's no attempt to organize any of these things. I let them amass, an endless girth that claims it's home in every corner of my room.

I'm particularly terrible with keeping clothes. Most of my clothes deserved to go, long ago. And I don't do much maintain the well being of said clothes. By nature, I am a complete klutz. All clothing is torn, spilled on, slightly worn from the first day on.

Rather then acknowledging that these garbs are no longer worthy of public perception, I've developed a habit of keeping many closets. Whatever the piece, I assume eventually I'll fit into it or it'll come back in style. I wore my Moms Russian commie boots for about five years before people began to mock my labored navigation of the holes in the lining.

It just seems that the older something is, the more mine it feels. Once something gets a little ugly for the wear, I become attached to it. My closet is full of some admittedly odd wonders, some dating back to junior high, others jagged remnants of their former selfs, but I just can't part with them. Often I won't wear the clothing, but parting with it seems too dramatic a gesture for once fond objects.

So yes, I understand Sonja. And all the Sonjas out there. In my old age, I hope to be one of those crazy ladies. In fact, I'm looking forward to it. I'll wear all my jewelry in one massive blob, put on sunglasses on rainy days, wear my hair in unreasonable ways and go for walks in unreasonable shoes. And have a house full of useless remnants of youth and vigor and god awful trendiness. And I'll be happy, because it'll all just seem to fit.


  1. I'm the opposite. I try to throw away things that I don't need immediately. I wouldn't call myself a minimalist by any means, I just don't have many sentimental attachments to most things.

  2. My mom loved to save things. When she died, she left a house full of stuff she never used and really had nothing to do with her. I throw things out that are meaningless to me so other people don't have to later. I still have my teddy bear from when I was born, though.

    lindsay ||


    Look forward to it... or maybe you are already there :P

  4. I absolutely love that poem. It's a good thing I already started working on the lack of sobriety.

  5. i just discovered a hole in my favorite sweater this morning. I nodded in relief and put it on. The hole cant be seen in public...but I definetly thought "this sweater is truly mine now."

    So I know what you mean with clothing.