“Do you need these or can I throw them away?” He held up two scented candles, both with sooty wicks from previous use.
“I don’t see why you would throw away perfectly good candles,” I rebuffed, annoyed. One too many days of sleeping, working, and living in our tv room–the only air conditioned room in the apartment–had made it a hotbed of irritability. He said the apartment was too messy, I countered that it was in the process of a transition. I just finished painting a new bookshelf, which accounted for the boxes of books that we tripped over upon leaving or entering the room. The papers spread out on the table were work-related, I claimed. When I tried to defend the clothes strewn across the couch, my defenses fell flat. That’s when the candles became the first casualties of the oncoming cleaning frenzy.
My one-woman army retreated to the home office, where my desk was piled high with papers, journals, various personal electronics, and an overflowing basket of things to be filed. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em; especially if they’re right, I thought as I began to tidy up.
Picking through piles of stuff that I haven’t looked at in months, I found a mix CD. I have no memory of receiving this CD, but the jacket on the case explained it was to celebrate International Women’s Day. I popped it in my Macbook, anxious to freshen up the music collection. Lo and behold, 18 songs that make you feel happy to be a woman including, “Natural Woman”, “I Will Survive”, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”, Aretha’s “R.E.S.P.E.C.T.” and Destiny’s Child’s “Survivor”. The songs were good enough (and had enough beats/minute) for me to load onto my iPod and motivate me to go running.
I am grateful for the treasures we all have, hidden well within, that take a bit of cleaning to uncover. That, and the fact that candles still sit on the window sill, having survived the hottest days of the summer unscathed.