Sunday, December 07, 2008

the late unburdening of 2008

Yesterday morning I felt as though a fog had lifted from my mind. The day began with hoarfrost covering the ground and ended with fire in the sky. I discovered a song within me, which, though I can't recall it this moment, I know is immanent and my voice will rise up to meet it once again. This clearing is incomplete, but progress is being made.

I have vowed to resume the work of unburdening myself of things closed up in boxes. I looked around my room, too cluttered for my taste, at the accumulation of things that possess more of me than I'd like. I began the work before my recent move and then, with three jobs keeping me distracted, I didn't continue.

Why do I still own my high school yearbooks? They mean nothing to me, but I've carried them from place to place. I have a box of ceramic supplies I haven't used in the nearly eight years I've been here. Sure, maybe one day I'll have access to a kiln again, but until then, do I really need a bag of mystery glaze? I want to get rid of it all. Rip the cds and sell the discs. Finish the assortment of art projects in various stages of completion and leave them in parks or gift them to friends. The books, I'm afraid, are as culled as they are likely to be for a while.

I have a number of cool objects, but most of them don't bring me pleasure. They accrue dust and I am weighed down by the space they occupy in my life. Already, I've disowned the majority of the dishes I had that were not made by hand by people I've known, or otherwise exceptionally visually or tactilely satisfying. I want to rip, to shred, to recycle, to gift, until I feel I can breathe again.

I know there are things I will inevitably own or acquire. I make things. Things accumulate. But I genuinely want to sip tea out of the same hand made mug every day. I want my books to have dog-eared pages and coffee stains and signs of love and wear. I want my life to be a palimpsest of my experiences, not measured by the objects I've acquired or the (lack of) security provided by my bank account. (Which is marked by a negative trust fund for the foreseeable future. Ah, higher education!)

I want to stand breath sucked away and stunned by the fire in the sky more often. I am fortunate enough to live and breathe and to have a body and a mind to take in the world in all its horror and sublime beauty. I have a mind and a language with which to remain conversant with the universe and with others. I have a lot to do before I am taken back to merge with dust and minerals and light. It's time to wake up. The fog has lifted.