De-Cluttering Mystery

Has anyone seen a house floating in the sky recently? I swear it’s up there – and it’s mine!

I’ve cleared out the loft, de-cluttered, de-nuded, de-homed countless spiders and other creepies from their secure and undisturbed abodes as box after box was emptied of its unloved contents, stuffed unceremoniously and without scruples into black bin liners.  

There was so much stuff up there it took two of us ten hours all told and four trips to the tip. And now, in the strange way of houses, it feels lighter. Different. Or maybe it’s me that feels different?

I’m the one who feels lighter, not having all that weight above my head, accusing me of laziness − ‘Oh, just shove it up in the loft,’ rather than take it to the tip.

Just as I was admiring the open, clean and impressive space I had created, sweat running down my face, old shirt and jeans sticking to me, a deep calming satisfaction surfaced, swallowing me up in a self-congratulatory hug − and then I saw it. A piece of paper resting on a beam next to the water tank.

I almost ignored it – the straw that broke the camel’s ….  but perfectionist that I am, I picked it up and looked at it.

It was small (about 130 x 130mm), yellowing, with four lines written in my handwriting.

When I recognised it, a deep glow started to seep through me − so that’s where it went − how on earth . . . ?

It had been on my office wall for years and then one day disappeared without me noticing. I had sorely missed it.

Written on it is a quote:

“Indeed, I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.”

Virginia Woolf, 1929.