I wrote this four years ago and came back to it in my draft folder. The storage unit is not ours anymore since we’ve moved, but the sentiment in this post remains.
The other day I spent a few hours rummaging through old things. I went into our basement storage unit and opened a few boxes. I’ve avoided those boxes for two years. My last real vist was soon after the boy came along. Since then I’ve stacked and restacked boxes. I’ve thrown out a couple bags. I’ve given books away.
But I needed to look through things. I need to remember. I needed to let some things go.
I do this regularly: letting things go. My wife is the keeper of things. I’m the one who discards the unused. I used to give boxes of books away–after U of I, after Wheaton, and then after Garrett. I am of the mind that books are worth sharing, especially when they’ve given their gifts to you.
Still, it’s been awhile since I’ve actually gone through the articles and stuff of earlier days, since I convinced myself that I didn’t need as many things as I once did. It’s interesting how what we keep can be its own record.
So I waded through things. There are those cards and letters from my college days and there’s something Mr. Everett gave me in high school. I found a picture with a friend from a dance, the program from a wedding, a hand-written letter from my pastor, a note from my niece, and one of the most creative pieces of writing I’ve ever read, which happens to also be one of the most troubling lies I’ve read. That was from a letter written by a friend impersonating a physician when we were in college.
Each one of these things is a little image of me, a small indicator of the routes my life has taken.
The switchback image is a great metaphor for the nature of memory. I am of a mind with you on the gifting of books to others ( may they also pass them forward). Nicely written post! G
Thank you, Suburbanlife. As much as possible, I always hint that people should pass books forward.