My sister T went out into the fields, collected dead weeds and twigs and things of that nature, and arranged from that a pleasing token of nature’s winter beauty. My apartment has always looked stark and unadorned, and–well, if I say it that way, it doesn’t bother me. I have never wanted my living space to look adorned, per se, nor decorated; both of these words imply to me a preoccupation with the prettiness of the adornments. I am not thinking of baubels and bling. I mean those non-functional things that suggest history, an emotion or memory; things that tell you that it is not only a body living in this place, but a soul also.
There are lots of people decorating with profound bits of still life, I suppose, but when I was younger I actually went outside during the winter months. It might have been just to feed one of the animals, or might have been to sled down the snow-covered hill, or sometimes just to walk through the fields and woods; but I remember those melancholy husks of weeds on the tattered edges of winter’s barren expanse. They are the ruins of expired dreams; they are dormant promises.
I said to myself that I could not get any dead weeds for my apartment because I live in town and I am surrounded by houses, where the only dead things belong to someone else. But this is a weak excuse, and I knew it. So today I walked over the bridge to the wrong side of the tracks, the most depressed pocket of a tired small town, toward the one lane bridge that connects two parts of nowhere, and I got me some dead weeds, to make my aparment more cheerful.