Friday, September 30, 2011

On My Nightstand

Being as nearsighted as I am, I keep my glasses within reach when I go to bed. Yet I often have to make room for them for the top of my nightstand gets awfully crowded. Tonight I took a look at my nightstand. There’s my lamp, with its blue stained glass base and dusty shade. There’s my clunky digital clock with blue light as I don’t like the glow of red lights. My cell phone is there, not a usual place for it, but with two children having gone out this evening, I kept it close. I also see the cord from my computer stretching across to the outlet. There is a random paperclip, probably from a stack of papers I corrected in bed a few days ago, and a hair elastic which doesn’t make sense since my last hair cut makes pulling my hair into a pony tail an impossibility. There are five books stacked there too. Two classic dystopian novels I have yet to read, a book on writing, a prayer devotions book, and Nicholas Sparks’ latest novel which hasn’t been touched since school started.

Also on the nightstand is an old game boy cartridge that my puppy must have found somewhere and several pieces of paper I took away from her which include a funeral prayer card, a brochure from a summer waterpark, and an old love letter. The love letter is one of many that have been recovered. I have to admit, it’s been rather fun to see a new letter dangling from our puppy’s mouth. Retrieving them has been a strange way to go down memory lane, but it’s provided my husband and I with some laughs over the past couple of months since the puppy found our stash under our bed.

And finally, there is a pen, a small plastic box of wax that my son was given for his orthodontic needs, another small plastic case with a celtic cross charm, an area discount card we bought from the local high school’s soccer team the other day, and finally my pink crucifix that I’ve had since it hung on my bedroom wall when I was a child.

To assign some meaning to this collection of items might be interesting. What strikes me the most about the eclectic mix of “stuff” is that each item speaks to the roles I play in my life. There is a mix of teacher, wife, child, student, community member, and Christian woman right there and each night, without thinking too much about it, I push items aside to make room for my glasses. For without those within reach, without the lenses that allow me to see my way across the room, I’m unable to do anything or to be anyone to those I love.

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