On the evening before I realized I was coming down with a cold I came home chilled to the bone. I wanted nothing more than to find a favorite oversized, thick, cashmere sweater and curl up into a ball in a comfy chair. But I couldn't find the sweater in question, a bulky Icelandic-style sweater that I had knit in the late 90s using a lusciously light and soft cashmere yarn. For a moment I was distraught.
But I remembered that I had either given it away or sold it on ebay. The sweater was too heavy for me to wear here, my house is never cold enough, and the color was not good either, camel, and oatmeal and gray. Even though I had loved and worn this sweater for many years, I didn't love wearing it anymore, and it was well-past time to share the love.
Once I remembered all this, I was content. I realized that I wasn't really looking for that particular sweater, I was looking for the snuggly warmth and coziness it represented. I could wrap myself up in a cozy blanket, or layer thinner sweaters. I can even knit another sweater in a shape and colors I like better now. That sweater was a part of my past, a treasured part, yes, but nonetheless past. I don't need to hold on to that sweater.
It seems strange to me in a way that now, when I am not writing about style all that much, or fashion or clothing, I am focusing so much on the details of what I wear. My closet keeps shrinking, and the process of refining is ongoing. Perhaps the winnowing and the not-writing are related. But it seems odd that in this time when I am focused the least on what is going on the wold of fashion and style, I am focused the most on what is essential in my own closet. Where is that taking me? I don't really know.
Or is this process of winnowing and consolidating, or creating a space that is both personal and essential a necessary step in being able to explore creative impulses, in being able to go out into the world and do good? I always knew that home represented sanctuary to me, but I have in fact rarely embraced that impulse. Perhaps I am doing so now. Perhaps, as usual I am over-thinking, struggling with my own personal tortured path to learning to let go.
I only know that at this moment this is what I want my wardrobe to be. I want to be enveloped in these colors. I am sure that the spectrum will flow and evolve over time, as will the details of the pieces, shapes, and structures. I am willing to move slowly only because it seems that whenever I seem to think I know exactly where I am going, I learn that I have misread a sign and wandered off the path. There are days when I wonder where this path will lead, if anywhere. Today seems to be one of those days. But perhaps that is really just congestion speaking, and eventually my brain and my path will clear.