Visiting my friend a couple of years ago we decided to go to a local mall. I'm not much of a shopping person, but I am the kind of person that enjoys spending time with my friend. She's a shopping person. As is my daughter. I think it must be a recessive gene. Somehow my friend and I ended up in a shoe store and as we wandered up and down the aisles, I saw this pair of shoes. Not only did I see them, they captivated me. Pinks and purples and I felt happy when I looked at them. Even now, I have to leave the computer, walk upstairs and make sure I still have them. I hope I didn't throw them out, which means donate them. Somewhere, I hear my children chuckling...mom you never throw ANYTHING out. It's a fairly accurate statement. I keep the important things, even though they might not think they are so important. (And yes, I still do have the shoes). Calmed, I return to the essay, still not understanding where it is going but recording the thoughts as they come to mind. This is how I mostly write. I don't often know where it's going, but I'll sit here and be its fingers along the road. Not that this is some magical, mystical writing, as if I'm channeling. I do pause. Sometimes just to wonder, where is this going? As I just did. And in this case I then remember about the happy shoes and the happy times with my friend. Things bring memories, maybe that's why I keep them, to somehow hold on to the good feelings when I look at them. If I look around at what I've kept, wow, that's a lot of good feelings. If I hold this notion as a grounding (i.e. that I keep things for the good feelings), it helps me understand myself, and understand why I don't want to get rid of things. Things is not just stuff. Things are good feelings. When I see the thing, I see the story behind it, the where I got it, the who I was with, the connection. In a time not quite filled with good feelings, I see a purpose for the anxiety that I feel when I think of getting rid of this or that. Once I find more good feelings, filling up the well, likely the sorting through may be easier. I hope. I bought a sweatshirt at a writers' conference last year and on the back is the quote "I write to learn what I know". Somewhere in that part of me that compels me to write, and to take the leap to start and see where it goes, I am walking in those happy shoes. For where this piece ends is not where it started, nor where I thought it would go. Other than to connect to something and someone and to have good feelings. And that is a lot.