Sunday, June 23, 2013

Things I Let Go in the Fire

The past two days have been all about getting rid of STUFF in the over-crowded garage.  When it's winter and cold, we tend to throw STUFF in the garage, in the promise of getting to it later.  After a few years, the STUFF multiplies. 

Just like emotional STUFF.

I am not, by nature, a collector.  I had four boxes that I knew I needed to sort through.  Old papers, photo albums, tax receipts, magazines.  Memories.  And the last remaining box of my deceased husband's papers, which I had promised to do something with but instead left in a cardboard box that over the past ten years, various mouse-ies have nibbled on. 

Every time I looked at that neglected box, I felt like a bad wife.

As I sat today in the heat and steam of the first day of summer, going through my boxes, I felt overwhelmed.  Why was I still carrying forward memories that made me feel guilty, rather than happy?  Or photos of people that are long gone from my life?  Journals, filled with pain or worry or past beliefs?

Had it not been cloudy, as it so often seems to be in Michigan, I'd have snapped my own picture.  (Flickr pic)
So inspired by that big ole SuperMoon, I braved the heat, humidity and mosquito hordes and started a bonfire.  Time to release the past, make room for the new.

Lots of STUFF went in the fire.  I sorted through Tom's papers.  A few, I'll send to a friend who will put them to good use.  The rest, I burned.  And, as I threw paper after paper on the fire, I let go of the belief that I had been a horrible wife. 

I also purged STUFF from the love-o-my-life and past associations.  No more saving past sadness or anger.  Goodness, life is meant to be lived in happy memories or possibilities of creativity.

I did save journal pages that had story ideas.  And photos from special events and family members.  I even have enough pictures of past flings to make a nice Slut Collage to giggle over in a tidy photo album of my first fifty years.  You know, for those rocking chair memory days... :) 

Beyond feeling tired (after two days of grueling garage work in the heat and humidity amongst what is assumed to be raccoon poop, a decomposed squirrel, two liberated chipmunks, and WAY too many bags of crap), I feel relieved.  I can now move forward without all that negative baggage overwhelming me every time I open the garage door.  I even found a box of seashells, already drilled and ready to into jewelry, and two hamsa pieces that I want to play with.  So, beady score!

Sigh.  Definitely worth a few mosquito bites...


  1. Bless your heart, this sounds like a difficult yet liberating thing to do. Good for you for taking the step to move forward, with your past in better focus.

    1. Bobbie, it was wonderful. I feel so much lighter, freer.

  2. Stuff. Baggage. If we don't try to take control of it, then it takes control of us. I admire your bonfire and wish I would have been there to toss some stuff in.

    1. Liz, I highly recommend the process! I feel freer than I have in years.

  3. I really felt this post. I felt your courage to let go and I felt the weight of all the things I hold on to. I only had a mini burn once. It was to melt photos of someone and love letters of someone else into absolutely nothing. It was 18 years ago, and I can still see them burning. There is so much more I should burn. Burning your husband's stuff must have been a little hard. But maybe the mice did you a favor and made it a bit easier to let the stuff go. The idea of a slut collage made me laugh...I want to be 80 and looking at one saying "that one....." and get lost in the memory of those time ;-) The universe rewarded your strength with that beady goodness! YAY! A job well done :-)

    1. Thanks, Christine. I'm sure my collage will give me smiles for many more years. :)