this morning, SD and I spent a few hours sorting through some of our... possessions. I'm reluctant to call them that when in truth I mean that we sorted through some of dozens of boxes of our things that we've had stored at SD's folks' place for (I'm ashamed to say) almost 3 years. the earliest boxes honestly date from August 2006 with another batch from October that year, and more still from the December.
you see, in August 2006 we were planning our wedding. we knew our groovy west melbourne pad was not where we wanted to live when we started our family, and so in anticipation of selling up we started to pack. the idea was to minimise in preparation for putting the apartment on the market. October saw more of the same packing, then we were married in November so the boxes of wedding gifts were added to the ever-increasing load at SD's folks' place. you can see where this is going, can't you?
we moved house in August 2007 when we were 4 months pregnant. what didn't fit into our teeny wee home was... added to the storage.
so we have literally dozens of boxes, many of which we've not even opened in 3 years.
so I've been thinking a lot lately about how, to me, my possessions (and purchases) are talismans. they represent something to me - and often that something is a memory, or a time in my life, or an aspiration. these dozens of boxes are filled with such symbols.
there's the boxes of books (Kerouac's Satori in Paris that I bought in, you guessed it, Paris; Joyce Johnson's Door Wide Open that I bought when I read loads of books about different characters in the Beats; this book I bought on spec at the Tate Modern - I'd joined for my birthday and the title was irresistible to me). boxes and boxes of books that all mean something and remind me of someplace or sometime special.
there's the boxes of clothes (the exquisite Valentino silk brocade coat I bought at a sample sale - iridescent hues of purple and teal; the dress I wore at my 21st; my wedding gown).
there's the boxes of linens (the chuppah we married under; the hand-printed bedlinen my parents bought us as a wedding gift). and then there's the boxes of wedding gifts (most of which we registered for as we love them - but we just do. not. have. room. for them right now).
there's boxes and boxes of empty wine bottles that we haphazardly displayed atop our kitchen cupboards in our old apartment - each one reminding us of another great evening with friends, or a wedding, or a celebration of some kind.
I have all of these things that are beautiful to me in one way or another, and yet they're shoved in boxes and I don't see them.
I don't think it's appropriate to callously dispose of them (the boxes haven't been opened in 3 years, you say, you don't need them!), I can't bring myself to donate much of it (yet, maybe this will change), and yet it breaks my heart to think I own these beautiful things and don't enjoy them.
I guess part of me had hoped that I would find, today, as I opened boxes that my feelings had changed and that these possessions would have lost some of their significance; that I would be able to let go.
and yet I've found they still hold power over me, they still hold memories (all good - the bad ones are long gone), and so they really are talismans for me still.
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