I really wanted to do a good job with today’s #reverb10 prompt, because I am sort of in love with its author, Alice Bradley of finslippy. I don’t know why, and keep it quiet, ok? I’m trying to play it cool. At any rate, here goes nothin’.
Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?
At the risk of sounding like one of those hippies that has decided to live life with only 100 objects (including, say, socks and teaspoons), I have to say that this was the year I gave up “stuff.” Without veering into the sort of lifestyle in which I am rejecting the notion that things can be imbued with a sense of the life that contained them– especially after an evening partially spent hanging ornaments on a Christmas tree at my mother’s house, little tchotchkes that contain snippets of a life we’d hardly recognize anymore– I can confidently say that I am ready to be a person who collects memories rather than…stuff.
This started pretty early in the year, when we moved into our new place in the middle of January. If there is anything that moving can convince you of, it is that you can– and will! Yes, you will!– make do with less stuff. We heaved things into our apartment Dumpster with abandon: a VCR (much to PaGP’s chagrin), old VHS tapes, papers from a Mexico vacation in 2007, issues of magazines that were at least two years old. Others were packed into paper grocery bags and hauled off to the used book store or Goodwill, to find a good home somewhere else but ours. When we moved into our new-but-actually-a-century-old house, it was with the sense of possibility, the idea that we would be filling it with memories and not piles and piles of paper and junk that we’d never be touching again.
I am not at the point where I can entirely reject the idea that objects contain history; no, I am too sentimental for that. I will save menus and ticket stubs and snippets of a magazine article that really meant something in a single moment…forever, most likely. Sorry, future children! I tried. I really did. And really, in a fairly meaningful way, this was the year that I really did let go of so much that was weighing me down, scraps of paper and all. It added up to much more than the sum of its parts, and though keeping up with it is tricky (hello, tidal wave of stuff that seems to crash around our console table), I am determined to keep fighting the good fight and remember that memories are more often intangible than truly touchable.