It occurs to me to ponder my philosophy of furniture acquisition - I suppose it would be most accurate to say that if you want your home to have style, you have to either wait patiently for the right thing to come along at the right price (if you're looking for something tricky, like antiques), or you have to know where to look and be willing to pay a fair price. I tend to be a little manic on the bargain-hunting (and a little capricious in terms of the style of the thing - well, I want a bed frame that's carved but not too ornate, sturdy but not too masculine, very tall but not poster...yes, I want to find exactly the picture in my head. For $100. Is that unreasonable?), so for me, patience is definitely going to be necessary, as I suppose it is for others of the truly finicky out there.
I also have received wise words about the making of friendships. I was going to go to a little shindig tonight at the home of some lovely girls on this side of the river whom I'd like to get to know better, but that didn't work out. I've decided that tomorrow, when I go to confession (way overdue!), I will also make a little inquiry into service opportunities at our new parish. I don't actually have any extra time, but even if I have to give up on sleep, I need an opportunity to give something back - far more than any charity pursuit needs my help, I'm sure. I feel alone, detached, and adrift, and when I think about it, I realize I have for a while. I don't feel lonely - I see lots of people, and I don't mind being alone, in fact I enjoy getting things done and having my time to myself - but I haven't felt needed in so long I've almost forgotten what it is I'm missing.
And I realized something sad, but interesting, this evening, moving still-packed boxes around the dining room so I could fit them all under a tarp before I paint below the chair rail (done by the end of tomorrow? Here's hoping!). There's little if anything in the house that I wouldn't give up if I needed to for some good reason; but the idea that any of it should be lost, or broken, for no reason, makes me nearly despair. It's because my things are my people - not that I would sacrifice a human life to keep them, or anything like that, but they are stand-ins for the dead relatives to whom they belonged, or the living ones of whom they remind me; they're the silhouettes who live in my rooms where there are no people; they're my little army of helpers, standing at the ready to invite and welcome and make comfortable any guest who should happen by.
It's tragic, in a way, I suppose; but bittersweet, because truly, they make me happy - not with the possessiveness of materialism, exactly (though I recognize that my fondness for them ultimately is materialism, and something about which I need to be vigilant), but with the warmth of knowing that I am surrounded always by silent friends.