I've been sorting through boxes of old things. Boxes I have carried with me from place, to place - only sifting through them once, if at all, in a year. I feel more than anything that the contents are more a weight than an opportunity to reflect, yet I hold on to them.
Maybe I am ready to let most of these things go, won't I feel more free? I wonder whether I need the contents of a box to help me remember. Just one box of the most treasured bits might be enough. What does it mean to go through life with boxes and boxes filled with the past-what affect does that have on the present?
I think about the fact that every time it becomes necessary to sort through this collection of artifacts the act of doing so forces me to live in the past. I am no longer sitting on the floor of my studio, cars driving by outside, Ollie in front of me looking for a game of tug, tea kettle whistling. I am gone. Slipped back to a time I was far less of everything I am now, except young.
I wonder if any of this reflecting is helpful, if there is something I need to learn. Or does it hold me further from the self I am trying to grow into? Are you a keeper of so many old things? Or do you let them go?
Today, while I was out with Ollie I thought of this poem by W.S. Merwin: