Let me tell you about my fridge. For the past two years, 3 cans of Tecate beer have been sitting on the far left of the bottom shelf. For the past 6 months, a glass bottle of unopened Knudsen Very Veggie juice has been occupying the real estate next to the cans. On Friday, despite the fact that I seem to be perennially waiting for someone else to consume these two items, I decided it was time for a clearing.
Sometimes you have to get out of your own way, let go of what appears to have value but turns out to be an obstacle hindering you from access to something else. I didn't stop with the beer and the juice. There were bottles of old salad dressing and cottage cheese containers bearing leftovers from meals long-forgotten. It wasn't total mayhem, but I saw how easily the space had been taken up, how each time, the unloading of the grocery bags from the week's shopping had turned the shelves into a kind of shuffleboard, the past tenses of food no longer serviceable and yet still, somehow, jostled and shimmied to the back, as if they might, one day, be of use.
This could just be about the fridge, but of course it isn't. This is a practice run, a preliminary attempt at dismantling and discarding. This is the lead up to other purgings and clearings. This is a way of making way.
I am tired of holding onto the wilted vegetables in the slim hope of making soup. I am tired of keeping the yoghurt long past its expiration date. I want to be brave this year. I want to know when it is time to move on from things that no longer nourish. I want to be able to risk an empty shelf, an empty moment for the fullness the next one might provide.
All weekend I opened the fridge and marveled at how much room there was. One has to start somewhere. There are so many places to go from here, proverbial shelves to unload and swipe clean. I am sitting with a curious feeling of uncertainty and lightness, the slightest bit of bottom dropping out, and something - clouds maybe, or simply a view - beginning to open up.