Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Giving Away Memories

Last week I donated four huge bags of belongings.
Four HUGE bags.

Two bags that had been slowly getting filled over the past few months, and another two bags that only took me about two weeks to fill.

And fill them I did, with years of memories from my past.

Funny thing about giving clothes and stuffed animals and other random stuff away is that its easy to feel like you're giving away a piece of yourself.  Obviously, I'm not talking about some silly attachment to an old shirt, but rather the stuff you get rid of because its mere presence in your home will do nothing but spark painful memories of the people and times you associate with it.
I, for one, don't readily get rid of things that bring about powerful feelings and memories - even if they're powerfully hurtful feelings and memories.
The reason is because I tend to embrace melancholia as if it were an old friend, so a simple thing like a picture, a card, an old scarf or even an ugly coffee mug, can literally stop me in my tracks and take my mind and heart to some place a million miles away.  Happy or not, I embrace it as part of what I've experienced and learned from and felt through, and I take from it everything I can, leaving nothing emotionally behind.

But sometimes we must give away.
Give away pieces of our hearts and souls, pieces of our anguish and sorrow, pieces of long-lost times of joy that we simply cannot keep because the path through our memories to get to them is littered with too much heartache.  A memory, no matter how innately perfect by itself, is sometimes not worth holding onto when the painful reminders it spawns overshadow its beauty.

Like the wind crying endlessly through the universe, Time carries away the names and the deeds of conquerors and commoners alike. And all that we are, all that remains, is in the memories of those who cared we came this way for a brief moment.  ~Harlan Ellison