I spent yesterday consolidating memories.
I went through boxes and boxes of paper and other artifacts of my life thus far, trying to continue a shrinking trend that began with my divorce many years ago. I’ve gone incrementally from a three-bedroom house with a garage to a one-bedroom apartment, shared. I last moved in a snowless February that required only six loads in a small pickup truck. Since then, I think I’ve eliminated one of those loads.
There are things that I have moved several thousand miles and heaved up thirty or forty flights of stairs, powerful totems charged with energy, dossiers and evidence showing conviction and elegance of thought, shirts not warn in five years but in excellent condition and bought at such a bargain. Things moved because the space once occupied must be swept clean. Others must occupy now.
Within a space to breathe, boxes might be opened. Memories might be exposed for what they are, anchors to a past full of steps, some of which lead here. Is there value in knowing the way back? Can the way forward be derived? Is it worthwhile to revisit the missed opportunities and be reminded of the other options, now forever closed?
As I went through my own things, I found scatterlings of my parents, virtually nothing of my grandparents, and not even the names of my great-grandparents. The tree has been reduced to leaves.