Like many people, I’m going through beloved possessions and de-possessing of them, buoyed by Marie Kondo’s Konmari method and Swedish Death Cleaning. Because physical objects embody memories of people, places and experiences, the process is hard. But it’s also joyful and cathartic.
Two items recently left my care: a beloved sweatshirt from college and a kimono hand-sewn to celebrate Burning Man.
Wellesley College Sweatshirt
1987 – 2020
I spent about two hours sketching this iconic sweatshirt. Thinking back 30 years to those early days in college…my first time away from home and my first experience living in a place with 4 seasons. Remembering why I cared so much about a sweatshirt; what it meant to me as a young woman, eager to blaze my own trail but also aching to belong. The stains all have stories. Revisiting the memories made me thankful for those years and all the years since.
I posted the image on the Wellesley Class of 1990 group and many classmates jumped in to comment:
You’ve expressed exactly what I felt about mine, which is still in my wardrobe. You made me recall the missed opportunities I chose to pass so I could purchase mine.Mercedes E.
Those sweatshirts were expensive! I, too, cherished the one that I purchased with my hard-earned work-study funds. I think that I may still have it somewhere.Susan O.
I need an ode to my own stained ragged beloved W sweatshirt. I miss it’s bulky comfort as it was my stalwart companion during my college adventures!!!!! Study breaks, desk duty, getting a Schneider special,Cassie C.
…mine looked like yours until I stopped wearing it when told me it looked like I’d been attacked and not in a good way. Wish they still had this design….Nancy R.
What a wonderful tribute to The Sweatshirt we all owned back in the day. What a brilliant way to simultaneously release and memorialize something so beloved and dear to all our hearts. We can all relate to this.Variny Y.
i still have mine too and it looks just about like that!Laura R.
How funny to find that a piece of clothing represented so much to so many of us. And still resonates with us years later. I’m glad I spent time making the sketch and revisiting the past.
Kimono for Burning Man
2004 – 2020
“You know what would be great? A robe out of Tyvek for Burning Man.”
And with that, the idea was born. We went to Discount Fabrics, but the robe patterns were not attractive. The kimono pattern was lovely and made the idea even more beautiful. White Tyvek for him, and a gloriously hot pink for me.
We wore these for years afterward. But over time, they fell into disuse and then into a box and now they have new life with someone else.
As I continue to pare down and lighten up, I hope to connect with more memories and continue to refine my sketching skills. The result will be images that spark joy, instead of the objects. Stay tuned!