I know why the caged family sings

I bought a new curio cabinet last week from Merchants on Main. It was filled with vintage children’s books. I wanted them, too, but the cabinet I had to have. It was like that puppy at the pound that you know you’ll spend the rest of your life thinking about if you don’t take home. You’ll just be bypassing the dog food aisle and thinking what if…I tell you that cabinet was just barking politely, not even begging to come home with me. It knew. It knew that it BELONGED at home with me. What? Keep acting like these tacit dialogues with other people’s forsaken furniture in consignment shops DON’T HAPPEN TO YOU.

Forty moneys later and I had totally justified its purchase because organized home! I emptied a big tub full of picture frames that we hadn’t yet found a home for in Tennessee. I was then able to fill said tub with Little Man’s new King of Sodor playset which rawks something fierce if you are into spend your days using the phrase “really useful engine.” I felt like a really useful engine getting to empty one container for another. Home organization for the win.

Curio Cabinet
Curio Cabinet

Once all the family pix were shelved and displayed, I shut the cabinet doors because I have this strange illusion that just because there are doors on something, it will prevent the collection of dust. Since I like to dust like I enjoy dreaming about reptiles molting all over my bedspread, I try to save myself that chore as much as possible.

Loverpants came home and immediately laughed at the new curio cabinet, because this is what husbands do. You buy something new that totally kicks booty and they notice the one thing that is sort of hilarious and they point that out first. “Our relatives are all caged in there. Did Toni Morrison write that book, too?” Of course he was talking about Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, but we will forgive him because you can’t be right all the time about your black female author trivia.

Now every time I pass by the cabinet, I think about what things my family and friends are saying that I’m trying to muffle. I have to say I have been fortunate in that my parents and siblings are kind in word and deed. They are full of encouragement and are quick to laugh. I tend to choose friends who are brainy and good humored. Rare are the times when I feel as though I need to stuff their words in a cage. Even then, that’s still often all we get. We don’t get to stuff the things we hear throughout our lives in a sealed vault like the ingredients in Coke syrup. We don’t get to compartmentalize them. They seep, they echo, they influence us.

My greatest joy and necessity is writing about what I’m thinking, hoping, dreaming, reflecting upon. I can’t imagine not being able to do that readily and freely. I am glad my words are not caged or boxed or vaulted up; I am glad I am free to peck on this keyboard and figure out whether the cabinet should be open or closed.

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