Putting Your Life into Boxes

Putting your life into boxes. Nice, neat symmetrical boxes. You take things down, wrap them up and lay they gently and neatly in the box. When the box gets full you close it up nice and tight and secure it with heavy tape. With broad tip, black marker in hand you start to label the box. That’s when it hits you.

How do you take your life-your rich, full life and pack it squarely in a box? Life is full of so many edges and corners, odd shapes and bizarre designs. It’s hard to tuck your world in all nice and neat. Harder still to close the lid. Harder STILL to label the contents. “Pictures from a time when I thought I was happy” is a little long for a box. “Things that I thought I would always want to remember” is a little much as well. How so you mark a box filled with artifacts of your life succinctly?

Napkins from vacations, momentos from trips, ticket stubs, novelty glasses, knock-knacks, keepsakes, doo-dads and whatchamacallits. At one point they all meant something. That smooth shaped like a heart, that perfect seashell rescued during a walk on the beach-you put it away, pack it up and then you stop. Why? Why is it being tucked so securely away? Do you really want to remember? Do you want to be reminded of the time you believed in something that turned out not to be real?

This goes, this stays, throw this out and try and sell this. You walk they your house, your home and you try and put years of living into one of four categories. It’s not so easy. Your new life won’t hold all that the old one did. Part of you wants to save it, the other part of you wants to throw it away, you do your best. Eventually you stop thinking emotionally and start thinking with the clinical precision of a surgeon. You begin cutting away all the things that hurt and keep the things you need. It becomes about practicality-not sentimentality.

It’s easier then. If it doesn’t fit neatly -squarely you move on. You begin marking things with simple words like ‘den’ and ‘kitchen’. You cut a swath thru the rooms-stay-trash-sell and pack. Stay you leave alone, trash is thrown away, sell goes into a bag and those items designated pack get put into boxes—square neat and secure boxes.

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