Saturday, February 16, 2008

Closets, Pantries and Cabinets of Glory

Say what you will, but one of my favorite things to do as a child was to hide in my sister's enormous walk-in closet, snuggled up in a far secret corner behind rows of shoes and sweaters where no one could find me as I read Uncle Wiggly books and an atlas or two to study the many far off lands that I dreamed of visiting some day. (And, with a few exceptions, now have.)

It's a big, wonderful world out there, but we all need a closet to call home.

I felt so safe in there in that perfectly ordered little box in our rambling house where I felt I could control the entire universe with a flashlight, books and my imagination as I sat on a throw pillow and explored the far corners of the real and imagined world.

A group of straight women (wait, and one lesbian) were at my house this week and while I was pouring one black rose tea, she started oohing and ahing as she caught the site of my pantry (pictured on the left). She said it was her dream to someday have such a well ordered little corner. All I could think but did not say was, "Gee, doesn't everyone's kitchen look like that?"

I actually love bringing order to my closets and cupboards and always feel bereft when they are in disarray. Yet I have yet to gain a walk in closet equal to the one my sister had.

About a year ago, I started learning about the ancient concept of cabinets of curiosity or wunderkammer, but this concept of weird science or bringing together the natural and unnatural worlds really speaks to me. Like Steampunk, its a sensibility I have long had without having a name for it.

On that note, I have been very happy to recently discover a great kindred spirit on this topic. Heather McDougal's Cabinets of Wonder is a great site on such curiosities and more. It helps that her writing is several notches above the typical "blog" and is well researched and referenced. Excuse, I think I'll end this post, sit on the floor of my pantry and peruse Heather's blog.

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12 Comments:

At 7:23 PM, Blogger Gary said...

I don't think I said it today but "I love you JT".

 
At 7:34 PM, Blogger Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Gary - Wow. The feeling is mutual!

 
At 9:15 PM, Blogger kimy said...

can you come to cleveland and make my cabinets and closets all nice and ordered? I'll make a quilt for you in trade!

as someone who has a reputation as being super organized all my cabinets, closets and drawers tend to be in utter chaos (although I do usually know what is where!)...it is amazing how people can be fooled!

cabinets of curiosities - my first encounter with one was this amazing 'museum' in cardiff wales.... fascinating concept! recently I read a very stange (but interesting) mystery by preston and childs with the title 'the cabinet of curiosities' - was the first book I read of a series featuring special agent pendergast (tho actually book 3 in the series) pendergast is this intriguing fbi agent who is a cross between sherlock holmes, macguyver, and kwai chang caine...thoroughly entertaining if one goes for odd quirky escapist mysteries....but truth be told I liked the next book in the series I read a bit better (which was book #4 of the series) "still life with crows".... but another tale with seriously twisted people in it....

off to peruse your links!!

 
At 9:41 PM, Blogger Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Kim - A quilt would definitely lure to Cleveland, though don't think you can compete with Grammy Matzenbacher.

 
At 6:28 AM, Blogger Dave said...

Damn, I want my pantry to look like that. I've been saving Ragu jars for months.

 
At 7:57 AM, Blogger Bryan said...

my god! I am actually reading this as I sit in my extraordinarily messy pantry (I have a desk in there...I'm not curled up in the corner with the lap top) I look at that picture of yours, turn to my left and see mine in such disarray...I better go make an appointment with my therapist...

 
At 8:51 AM, Blogger Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Dave - Ragu? Aren't you Italian? I'm appalled.

Bryan - Oh, another man I've driven to a shrink!

 
At 1:53 PM, Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

Nothing improves my body mind and spirit like cleaning my room or a closet or something. As within, so without. Clean out the closet and clean out the mind. I used to be a slob, but I've lived with very clean people now for years. As soon as I adapted, suddenly I could think more clearly.

The Mr. Wiggy book cover makes me think about that little film you had on your blog the other day. Something a bit creepy about the style, but wearing a mask of "cute."

L O V E your pantry!

 
At 3:23 PM, Blogger marxsny said...

I love a well organized pantry. In all honesty I love a well organized anything. I used to hide in closets also. None of them sound as intriguing as your sister's though.

 
At 5:46 PM, Blogger Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Reya - Absolute order is an eternal pursuit for me, but I achieve it now and then. The tension between chaos and control is the energy of life in my book.

Mark - I'm with you on organizing stuff. In the 1960s and 1970s, my sister covered the walls of that closet in collage. Very hip and with it at the time, lots of Beatles, Cher and Twiggy pictures from Vogue and Life.

 
At 6:03 PM, Blogger kimy said...

bryan's comment must certainly be the inspiration for interactive monday! blogging in the pantry - I want to see the pic!

ah, I'm sure granny m would win hands down if there was a quilting competition. I'd love to see her creations!!

 
At 9:32 PM, Blogger Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Kimy - Thanks, I should post some of her work. I also have some from GREAT granny M as well.

 

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