Nov 24, 2006


I resisted the urge to join the throbbing, frenzied masses at the malls, outlets, and streets this holiday. I stayed home and did what I should have done last year: read.

My head hurts, and I don't know how much I retained. But there's nothing like being around my family without the dozen commitments that I used to make in the false hope that I'll be able to meet about half of them with only 1/3 of the attention I need to make it all worth it. So with all of that, I'm happy to leave the socializing for after reckoning day(s).

Went through some of my old shit that's still in boxes from a transition between apartments in the mid-nineties. My parents' home has become a repository of some of my old stuff because I didn't think it important enough to go through it and move it out. My mom has been as patient as you can hope, probably because of the fits I used to throw when she tried to get rid of anything. But there are more boxes than there should be, and now that I have room (and a car) I really want to go through this stuff once and for all.

I wish it were warmer - I have the desire to go through my old papers, my letters, my odds and ends and purge myself of a lot of it. The need to break free from things (even in light of my reverent post on books last week) and the attachments that come with this material culture which we've bought into (literally and figuratively, I guess) has never really motivated me in the past. But we carry so many effects with us, accumulating memories without meaning as we roll down the hill of life, an evergrowing brambleball of unmatched beginnings and endings, half-feelings and blurry recollections that wind up distorting a past that you'll never quite have the peace of mind to step back from and make sense of the whole thing.

I'm tired of finding half-written poems, and partial journal entries. I don't want to be the archaeologist with inside knowledge about the life I'm excavating (my own) box by box from the depths of my early twenties. I don't want to hear those voices anymore. My life here and now is good, and I want to be fully present here and now.

It's not the memories, but life's debris1 that bothers me now.

[1] Okay, borrowing from Bharati Mukherjee, of all people. She wrote in one of her short stories, one of the few I read, really, that "love flees, but we're stuck with love's debris." I liked that, and appropriated it here. At least I'm honest.

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