Letting Go

When was the last time you sorted through all your worldly possessions and asked yourself, “Do I really need this, or am I ready to let this go?”  What was the hardest thing to release?  For me, it’s what many people would describe as tiny scraps of paper and random words scribbled on half-empty pages.  And these same people would find this odd.

One is a doodle left over at the end of a Partini Game played over two years ago.  At some point in the evening each of us held the pencil which created this abstract drawing.  Mark was the last to touch the design and added these words:

“If you look closely, our collective voice can be seen and heard on this piece of paper.”

Another scrap is a thought jotted down while still living in North Carolina, dated December 6, 2001.  This is one day after my 29th birthday.  It is seven days after having just returned from three months in Belgium.  It is not yet three months after the day known only as 9/11.  It is a time in my life when I am questing what to do next.  I can still remember the roller skates on my feet, circling round and round on the hard wood floors of Cee’s attic apartment when she said:

“Think twice, act once, and talk to someone with grey hair.” 

I now find myself wondering if there is a fault in one of my rules.  Rule #8: Write it down before it disappears.  Is this why I am surrounded by tiny scraps of paper wondering if I can bare the pain of letting them go too?  It was easy to let go of the dishes, the tools, the clothes, the throw pillows, the seven years of household items accumulated since moving to Alaska.  It was not easy to let go of my drawing and painting supplies, but I did it.  And it was even harder to let go of the hundreds of keys, gathered and saved for the sake of art yet to be formed, but I found them a good home with a local artist who will appreciate the effort and respect the vision.  And so I let them go.

But these scraps of paper will never be found in another’s yard sale.  They are not something stocked in retail stories.  There is no online resource which can recreate them if I change my mind.  But are they now a burdening side effect of an otherwise effective rule?

Rule #8: Write it down before it disappears.  

You see, stories and creative ideas dangle before me on lose threads of imagination.  Like tiny scraps of paper floating on a breeze they flutter, begging me to pay them attention.  When I do they grow in size and unfold stories on their expanding pages.  Then just when I think the story is ready to be written on real paper, with real ink, I get distracted by some task and promise myself to remember.  And then it is gone, the thread broken and the breeze blowing my idea in a different direction.

Rule #8: Write it down before it disappears. 

But now is the time of letting go.  I am moving on to something new and I need the freedom to move.  But I am also moving to the sound of these words on their scraps of paper, calling to me, begging me to pick them for my next story.  So perhaps they are not what I am supposed to let go.  Perhaps the dishes and the tools and the clothes and the throw pillows and the seven years of household items are enough to free me.  Perhaps I can find space in my Prius for a box of scrap paper because these scraps are more valuable than anything I sold or gave away.  They are the stories of my life.  They are my friends.  They are my loved ones.  They are the people I will never let go – even as I move forward in time.

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One thought on “Letting Go

  1. Reminders of memories (good & bad) are much harder to let go of than objects easily replaced. Perhaps you could make a digital diary of them (either scan or photograph them) if they are taking too much space.

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