I stopped by a few estate sales last Sunday. Drea basically said she felt like a vulture, but I can’t see it that way at all. I don’t believe in an afterlife; I don’t even really believe in legacy. Most of the people alive right now don’t know who I am, and as I’m not at all bothered by that, I can’t see why I should care if people who haven’t been born yet don’t know who I am either. But I do believe in objects. They tell more honest stories than people do. And the handmade ones, the quilts and paintings and specially made things that came out of my fingers, slowly, while I thought about who and how would use them, that’s the epitaph for me.

Anyways. At this estate sale, in a closet, was the most beautiful hand stitched quilt. Almost finished, just wanting a back and smooth edging. And it got me totally choked up, thinking about this woman cutting all those tiny triangles and all the hours stitching and ironing and fussing, and then she died, and it wasn’t ever given to anyone. For twenty bucks it went home with me and was done by the time Drew woke up from his nap.

I realize it sounds like I’m patting myself on the back for saving it, but what I mean to say is, with the wake, with fall coming, I think about what I or Drew would want, about a natural burial, and the horror of our bodies turning from us to decomposition and rot, and there is no good burial, there’s no adequate ritual, there’d be only loss. But there would still be things, and so many other lives just then getting their chance to be lived. And I hope that my things, and all the love I imagine stitched and pressed into them, will keep someone else warm.

 

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