I am sitting here listening to James Taylor. Carolina is on his mind. I have a genius playlist made of memories. Nostalgic is my state of mind.
I have packed and moved so many times in my life. Often the only time I go through old letters and photos is when I am shuffling them from one old box to a fresher one. Why do we hold onto all this memorabilia? I cannot let most of it go, I am attached to it like dust to history.
Today one old diary bit the dust. Most of the time it is too embarrassing to read through old ramblings and diary entries. Maybe the entire lot should be chucked. Imagine someone going through all that once I am gone and realizing that I was just a sentimental, desperately-seeking-love-20-something? My old diaries are not the best representation of who I am today. Earlier I found a whole tome dedicated to one failed relationship. It felt good hitting the bin. Others, especially ones that I wrote while pregnant I have held onto. Every time I move the purge is more intense. It is not that I look back on these artifacts often, in fact it has been a while this time. But I like just knowing they are there.
I leafed through some old letters I wrote 17 years ago. I was writing to my husband, except at the time he was only my boyfriend of a few weeks. After meeting in Egypt I went to India and from there I wrote him pages everyday. In those letters are everything I saw, felt, read and thought. It was an unequaled writing opportunity. Despite the fact that they initially scared him off ( I came on pretty strong if you read all 9 letters in one sitting as he did) they are now incredible evidence of our young love.
Caught in the minutiae of everyday life it is easy as pie to forget what brought two people together in the first place.
Once my genius playlist ends I might take myself back for another walk down memory alley. Sitting cross-legged on the floor I am transported back in time. I can see that girl in school, the eager traveller setting off for the airport, the boyish man I found there, the worries and nausea of pregnancy, the horrors of early marriage. I am finding that young girl in the papers and letters, diaries and photos strewn on the floor and I am forced to look at her.
Sometimes taking stock of the past is a good idea. I am on a bridge. Behind me is my past, ahead is Africa. Beneath me, the crumbs I let go.