Our home was being readied for sale and the agent he said with a grim determination, “Too much. Put it away.”
I looked with his eyes, but not with his soul. And I nodded.
I put them away, one by one.
That which he could see.
The chairs in my house.
Were there too many?
Perhaps, some would say. Looking with their eyes. I knew, though, that each was placed to seat the soul.
One chair, right where you may stumble through the front door. In case you are tired. Or lost. Or your hands are sheltering your eyes for you do not know if you can take in one more glimpse of the life that has been. And you do not know that you can take one more step. And you just need to stop. And sink.
So there it waited, ready.
Made of the strongest of canes in the tightest of weaves, that holds you up and hold you in, a net, to catch you. Arms that wrap around you, a cushion to nestle against your skin, whisper soft. So you need do nothing except be.
Ahead of you lay the steps, to climb. Again. With time. But until you are ready, it is enough to just see them, those stairs. To know there is a path ahead, that leads onwards, upwards.
Another, in a nook beside a mirror. A chair that is only made comfortable when you tuck your legs up underneath your body, onto the seat, feeling your whole self lengthen. Holding yourself higher, you feel the strength in your body, that which you had forgotten. Your head, it pokes up through the clouds of your own self doubt until you can see the dreams you left up there, once, above those clouds, so that now you can reach them once more. Adventures trip off your tongue and your hands tell a story to match. Such animation, a reflection of the fervour that had dimmed within, now reignited. With your dreams filling the air, that chair now feels uncomfortable and you shift restlessly until you unravel your legs and walk on your feet. Walk forward with your dreams, casting one last look over your shoulder to see that resolute and now smiling face in the mirror.
In the bedrooms, you awake, guests and family alike, and there it is. A place to sit and put on the shoes that will carry you through your day. Do up your laces, good and tight. Stand strong, find your stride.
By the water, at the deepest point, the lounge chair is jaunty, long and languid. You can recline a while, warmth on your shoulders; reflections, winking, unwinding the inner coil. But soon, you will find yourself slipping forward, just far enough to dip your toes in the water. A coolness, not so much coldness, it is easier to imagine yourself there, in that water. An easy point of launch, all it will take is one swift movement, jumping right in. To the deep end.
There is a question that I ask in every job interview, “tell me, if I was to come into your home, what would I see?”
As what you would see, so too, tells you much about me.
Each chair has now been packed away, with a small sigh.
That it will be.
Just a short time.
Until each is placed once more, with care.
In our new home.