Lois Lowry's Blog
O Come Let Us Adore Me
I have a wall of shelves in my dining room, here in the house that I am about to leave, which I have always called my "Wall of Perpetual Self-adoration." It contained all the framed certificates that announced my selection as 'most popular author in..(fill in the blank)'...some honorary degrees, some little bits of statuary engraved with my name as recipient of... ...whatever. Me me me. It always seemed embarrassingly self-absorbed (hence the title I gave that wall) at the same time that I have always been genuinely appreciative of those honors.
In any case, as I dismantle this house, of course those things hvae come down and been packed into boxes. My new house is smaller and has less wall space. I have paintings I want to hang...many by friends...one wonderful sunflower painting by Ashley Bryan, for example...and I realized I probably would not re-create another Wall of Perpetual Self Adoration.
So I had Boxes of Self-Adoration waiting to be moved, along with boxes of dishes, linens, books, etc. etc. They were not yet labeled because I hadn't figured out what their label should be! "Reference Books"..easy. "Yellow Crate-and-Barrel China"...easy. But: Narcissism? Awards? Hadn't decided what those boxes were to be called.
While I was in Europe last week, a company called Clean Out Your House came, by pre-arrangement, and hauled away the stuff I had piled in a section of the basement. Old soaker hoses. A broken chair. Bags and bags and bags and boxes and boxes of...stuff.
You can hear what is coming. I had not adequately separated or identified the boxes of awards and plaques and certificates.
And they are all gone.
The heartbreak of this is not that I needed ever to display them again, or preen over them...but that each of those awards was selected by people who gave substantial thought to the selection and made a presentation to me, and each of them was individual and appreciated and treasured.
I will remember them always. But I guess I will never see them again.