Friday, March 09, 2007

the tears of life lived

Today was a day of sifting through things that were once a part of my daily life. I unpacked our storage area and priced about a million odds and ends for a garage sale tomorrow morning (well I wish it was a million odds and ends - even if I sold everything for a quarter I'd be in good shape!). Tonight, my roommate* helped me start loading up my room - taking all my sacred boxes of pictures and journals and art down from the top of my closet to get them ready to send on to their next resting place.

Regardless of whether you've laid your head to rest next to all these things every night for a number of years, it's usually only when you move that they get the love they deserve. I've come across letters I've cherished since high school. Journals full of teenage angst and the absolute explosive joy of first love. Artistic endeavors, friends now lost, trinkets collected around the world - all mementos I've carried from home to home to home.

I'm letting go of a few. The music box that plays "You are my sunshine" that the first (and somewhat only) boy to break my heart gave me on my birthday because it was our song - it's going in the garage sale pile. But there are some things, like the letter that my brother Todd wrote me on my 16th birthday that makes me cry just holding the envelope for all the love it holds inside, that will be packaged oh-so-carefully so that they can be stumbled upon once again when I figure out where I'll next call home and bring tears to my eyes once again.

And when that happens, there will be a whole new set of reminders of this time to accompany them. Pictures, and cards and music - the things that remind me of where I've been these last two and a half years - and the six before them - of the people who shared this time with me, the tasks I undertook - the heart aches, the celebrations, the losses and most importantly, the gains.

But the best parts - the things that transcend all these mementos I'll take with me are the voices I'll continue to hear (though sometimes now by phone), and the trips we'll continue to take, and the celebrations we'll continue to share. Because these eight and a half years have been life being lived, and you don't leave that behind - you take it with you.

*The Frenchman asked me the other day why I call her my roomate, and not by her name. What he should really ask is why I don't call her my darling dearest most wonderful friend - because that's what she is. But because that might make me sound suspiciously non-hetero, I stick with roomate, because this girl has lived with me, and trust that my point comes across :)

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Anonymous tiger said...

Re: your footnote, does he know he's the frenchman?
and re: being in touch, i'm calling this weekend for sure.

3/10/2007 2:16 AM  
Blogger Airam said...

I think that's what can be called stopping and smelling the roses. Seems to me like you have dozens and dozens of roses!

3/10/2007 6:37 AM  
Blogger mysterygirl! said...

It's always nice to have an excuse to remind yourself of all the wonderful experiences and relationships you've had. It even makes having to clean worthwhile. :)

3/10/2007 10:22 AM  
Blogger Indiana James said...

: )

Sometimes you just need moments like that to remind you of the good things and Maria seems to have it right that you're lucky to have a lot of them. Good luck with the sale.

3/10/2007 10:50 AM  
Blogger K said...

I think that its great to sometimes sift through the reminds you where you came from and shows you how much you have grown in life.

3/11/2007 5:30 PM  
Blogger Princess Pointful said...

You are giving me the urge to run away for a week to my parent's place and spend the day going through boxes in the attic. I literally kept boxes and boxes of letter, notes, and mementos.

Nostalgia alert!

3/11/2007 11:39 PM  
Blogger H said...

As always, just beautiful.

3/12/2007 11:20 AM  
Blogger NAME: Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

I think I'd scare my roommates if I spoke of them so highly.

3/12/2007 1:51 PM  
Blogger Natalie said...

I really love old letters. So true that they only get appreciated when you move.

3/12/2007 2:58 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Every time I move I sit down and reread all my old letters and notes and yearbooks and whatever else. And cry. And then toss out the things that don't matter. And carefully pack the things that do. I think it's a good cleansing ritual. Exhausting, though.

3/12/2007 8:59 PM  
Blogger S'Mat said...

very poignantly put for an experience so universal and yet fleetingly unrelatable.

better always than 'the tears of life livid'.

3/13/2007 10:18 AM  
Blogger With Love, Fat Girl said...

Garage sales can be rather vicious, so good luck with that.

When I was going through my endless supply of boxes in my parents' basement last year, I came across what looks like a little pink transistor radio... it's something you hang in baby's crib, and all it twinkles out is "Jack and Jill."

I know what you mean about possessions being loved at certain times... it was scrappy and years old, but I couldn't bear to part with my Jack and Jill.

3/13/2007 10:23 AM  
Blogger Thomas said...

You have a nice little blog going here.

3/13/2007 5:12 PM  
Blogger Mood Indigo said...

Tiger - can't wait for your call! Yes, I think he does. But I haven't let him read my blog yet (though he does know it exists).

Maria - more than I even realize I think. Is it possible to be overly blessed?

MG! - Totally - I think it's the only way/time i really can clean (you should see the layer of dust I've come across - good GOD.)

James - sale went well, thanks!

K - so true. The things you remember on a daily basis are quite different than the specifics you revisit when rereading things from the past or just coming across the right memento.

Princess Pointful - do it! Then blog about it!

H - as always, the highest compliment in that it comes from you!

Dr. Ken - you just might. Better stick to your more manly write-ups of them :)

Nat - I think it makes it more fun to revisit them when it's only every couple of years, too.

Lisa - exhausting - yes! See my most recent "post."

S'mat - per usual, you bring a bright smile to my face with your play on words.

FG - I hope you continue to hang on to it. It doesn't matter sometimes that things have lost their shine, or their purpose or functionality - sometimes they just take you back to a place you can't get without them - and their worth holding on to for that reason alone.

Thomas - Thank you and welcome! You are in fine company with my dear readers and fellow bloggers who share this space!!!

3/13/2007 10:48 PM  
Blogger should-be-working said...

You did something that not enough people do. You took time to inventory your life. I think that's so invaluable and something done all too infrequently. You're wise beyond your years.

3/14/2007 9:22 PM  

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