"Dear Jessica, I know you will cherish these books the same as I did because your love for the Royal family is just as dear as mine.
Love, Ms. Farr"
- Note from my Kindergarten teacher scrawled on the front page of one (of many) Princess Diana / Royal family books I inherited from her the year that I turned five.
No, I know I don't need all these out dated magazines. Or random books of random prose, but the fact of it doesn't make it any easier for me toss them out. Never has. Never will. Seeing that every time I sit down to sort through them I am reminded of certain aspects of my life there in the initial hours where I first flipped through them. So I can recall tucking that torn page from People magazine of Sean Penn and Jack Nicolson sharing a steak in an Airstream he lived in that year after the fires in Malibu and how much I loved it. And the NYT mag with Joan Didion that's now paper thin and falling to pieces reminding me of how that article showing her in her personal home space sparked a series of dreams for me where I kept coming across her sitting on park benches in Central Park. Engaging in odd conversations about the weather that left me rattled in the best way days thereafter each one.
And as much as it embarrasses me to admit I know I certainly may never find the strength it takes to part with the late 90's Vogue and Bazaar magazines that helped define loose pieces of my youth. Where an entire wall in my bedroom served as a shrine to torn, tacked editorial pages of the decade's reigning supermodels pulled from whatever magazines I could get my hands on. Claudia smokey eyed in a drug store wearing snakeskin cowboy boots. Kate clad in Gaultier, Kate by Sorrenti, Kate in Calvin Klein. Kate sultry by the water in the bikini I searched so long that summer to recapture.
Every page, of all those books speaking out to me when all I want to do is pile them up for donation like every other normal person I know. Tori Amos - her hair and wardrobe - forever crowned my go up fashion idol in that era, in a booklet accompanying the album I bought the season Scarlett's Walk came out. The bright eyed ghost of Robin Williams on the cover of Rolling Stone. Angelina nursing her new babies in a cotton nightgown on the cover of W. And the mid century bookshelf I circled and meant to save up for and buy in an early 2000 Room and Board catalogue that never happened. Sweet Kurt in his thrashed sneakers. Amy Winehouse holding that big rooster. The worn book I bought in New York a decade ago because I liked the art deco art on the cover. And so on and so on. A collection of sentimental clippings of strangers I can't help but want to hang on to. Too many books I don't need and catalogues I should not adore.
So it makes more sense to start instead with the stripping of my closet Where my attachment to shoes and accessories proves much less complex.
Wish me luck.