- Jane Smiley
I loved it the moment I read it. Shared it in a few consecutive tweets, too. When I got to the end, I kinda wanted to answer, "So, ummm, wait...what?" Lol! As a friend of mine said to me sometime last year, love alone isn't enough [for marriage]. And, whaddya know? Turns out that the make-up of the love itself might be different than what you had long envisioned.
All these things. (As a sis would say.) My thoughts turned to "these things" as I pored over almost two decades of writing the other night. Like, seriously. I'm gonna have to stop writing! ....... Hahahahahahahaha! I crack me up! Too funny! Okay. By that I mean... Actually, nothing comes to mind. Here's the thing. Perhaps I could just keep doing what I'm doing and, after a while, see what needs to go. Fast. And, unceremoniously. Because, well, I tend to keep it all. I'm gonna resist the temptation to list some of the things I've kept since nineteen long time.
I'm not a hoarder, per se. Hmm. Reminds me of a preview of "Hoarders" that was being shown repeatedly in the run-up to the broadcast date. As the woman in the clip cast a glance at the mountain of stuff in her house, she summed up her life's philosophy in this memorable piece: "I wouldn't say I'm a hoarder. I'm a rescuer of things." Uh-huh.
My defence? I hold on to, and take care of, the things that mean a lot to me. Those "things" would include the pages and pages of thoughts on my friendships and relationships and interactions and passing fancies... When I came across the ones spanning about four months in 1996, I just knew that their retention period was up. And, it's not as if I had ever planned to have a retention period for these reams and wads and stacks of paper and books. I just figured I'd keep writing until I could no longer hold a pen or pencil to paper (including napkins, restaurant receipts...). What would family I'd have left behind do with the lot? No idea. I imagine, my life being spared, that it might be a good idea to put some instructions down somewhere. I mean, I still dream of becoming a world-renowned writer. In years to come, perhaps long after I'm gone, those pieces may very well become highly sought-after relics.
So, what caused me to ditch that batch? Quite simply, it was ugly. I felt like I was fingering a scar that I had somehow discovered a new fascination for. And, as I passed my finger over it, I couldn't resist picking at it then digging away at it. Like I was trying to figure out why and how I got that mark in the first place. And, for those twenty or so minutes that I dug and read - after a while I skimmed - I began to feel sickish. I no longer held it dear and it meant nothing to me now. There was no answer coming to complete the "I need to hold on to this because...". I did have a very ready answer for why it needed to go. There was no longer a place for such ugly in the beauty of the now.
There were no second thoughts. It was one of those things that, when you're doing it, or about to do it, you just know it's right. It's even beyond the realm of knowing to just being right. No long prayer, just time to act. So, I rolled up the papers, put 'em in my bag and took them to my workplace the following day. (Felt I needed to use the shredder that minces paper.) And, quite unceremoniously, I pulverized them!
After all, there are new things that are springing forth; new things for me to hold dear and take care of. The beauty of the now shall be clutter-free. I gotta make room for the new things to grow. For, apparently, love is more than "going to bed all the time."