Saturday, May 11, 2019

Wipe the Slate Clean

We decided we needed to make space in our house and optimise the use of existing shelves. It began with segregating clothes, into:
1. What we will definitely wear
2. What we wear every other day but should not because - yes, the cloth is soft and it was beautiful when we got it, but now it is beyond recognition and must absolutely be thrown
3. Grand, but sorry, too itchy, dazzling and not the kind we would wear ever though it looks brand new.

So out went clothes under category 2 & 3, and wow, there was so much more we could accommodate.

Then went all the books. Being a reader, I have always depended on libraries. But sometimes, in some fanciful moment, we end up buying books in the hope of starting our own library. But sorry:
1. No space
2. Read too often
3. Never read since buying and unlikely that we will ever.

These two categories proved fairly simple. But there were still shelves and drawers with records:
1. Children's school records from the time they were teeny weeny
2. Certificates of every event they participated in
3. Medical records, in the expectation they maybe needed some day
4. Of investments made, redeemed and spent completely with no hope of replenishing
5. Of that trip we made 10 years ago and were unlikely to return
6. Brochures of purchases we hoped to make but couldn't
7. Old notebooks that were meant to be reused

Three drawers and a couple of shelves full of just papers, papers, papers, bursting from the drawer gaps and spilling all over the floor, only to be shoved quickly before we realised it was actually junk... Finally they were allowed to rest in peace.

It is said that possessions posses us. The force of that saying hit me as I cleared my house of things that had taken possession of centre space while I walked around them gingerly, wondering when I may need them. X-rays of body parts that must have changed with age, reports of illnesses that must have been cured, bills of gadgets that I no longer owned, of things that had lost their use. But they were there everywhere, forgotten, yes, but still in the depths of my dwelling place. Is it insecurity, the fear of missing something, that makes us cling even to the most useless bit of paper?

Another conversation today brought this wonderous capability of humans to store to the fore. I mentioned to my husband a conversation he had had with his brother a couple of months ago and he was amazed, "What do you do? Tag them for future reference?"

Yes, we store things. And we store memories - of words spoken, things done. Just as the stored things clutter up our homes, curled up behind, spilling all over and marring the beauty of our living spaces, thoughts too remain coiled, occupying space, consuming our energy and pushing us to old patterns of behaviour, complaining - maybe.

Throwing things hadn't been easy. Throwing memories, even more so. But if we want to be new and energetic always, then we had better deal with them.

Make way for new, learn to let go of the old.

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