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All content copyright 2010 by Chelsea Biondolillo. Seriously.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

365 days of being a writer: day 356

I got my office keys today! I also walked all over town and bought Carharts and veggie chili fixins. I will FIT RIGHT IN.

And I changed my address and car insurance. I did laundry. Strolled campus. Bought groceries. Scouted out a bookstore AND co-op. Unpacked almost all of my clothes and filled a big plastic tub of things to let go of: dishes, tchotchkes, funny t-shirts. I have too many of these things. Next it's books and DVDs and "doodads". I bet I can lose one whole box of JUST miscellaneous junk. It's scary, paring down--and yes, this is not about writing strictly, but neither is it NOT about writing, entirely. It is hard for me to let go of the remnants of where I've been. But these extra things are not just literal weight. They weigh on the mind: collecting dust, requiring navigating and accommodating. Cluttering.

I can't ever see myself as a minimalist. I love books and buddhas and clothes too much. But the rest? It drags me down.

The other morning I dreamed that I was burning all my old notebooks, my journals from those worst years of self-doubt and sadness. I woke up wondering, Why do I drag them around like lead weights? Are they cautionary tales? My friends and I used to joke about the importance of these artifacts to our eventual collections of papers loaned to some collegiate library. If it ever came to it, I would rather be remembered through my drawings and paintings from back then; at least in those I was trying to improve. Those journals are circular, self-critical, and dishonest.

And yet, for all that, they are also true. They are a record of what I thought I should be thinking. Who I loved. All that I did to keep love far from my unworthy grasp.

Would you keep them or toss them or burn them? Do you keep your old diaries, and if not do you regret losing them?

Flowers from my 'hood. There are a lot of these towering lovelies all over downtown. Are they hollyhocks?

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1 comment:

Victoria said...

They're hollyhocks and they're gorgeous.

And I would burn my journals, set them on fire to ash in my own back yard. Still, in these past six years, I haven't done it. Autumn is sneaking around, it's a good time for letting go.

Your new digs and days sound fantastic. I'm feeling rather jealous. Be well!