I was given an ornament at Christmas. Most people have trinkets and ornaments but until then, I had none. I hate clutter, I loathe meaningless decoration with a passion but have been known to get quite excited about a brushed steel light switch. To me, everything in life should have a purpose and everything should be thought out and be beautiful in its simplicity.
Yet I liked this ornament. I would never have purchased it but the person who gave it to me had clearly thought about it, purchased it solely for me and with thought and in that sense - it had gained a purpose. The definition of purpose is a deeply personal one.
A friend once told me that you should get rid of everything once it had served its purpose. If she read a book, she gave it away immediately. The words had been read, the story given its purpose and in her mind - had done its job. To hold on to the book was to hold on to the past. I always found this strangely harsh, but she has a point. There are some things that we want to hold on to because to let go, would be to acknowledge that they no longer exist.
Take the footprints of a stillborn. I have mine, I cannot throw them away. I need them to remind me that it was not some tragic event no longer mentioned, but a child that was here, even for the briefest of moments. One day, they will be framed; not in a macabre 'Lets scare the neighbours' way but in pride, in acknowledgement that those tiny, tiny feet provided me with so much insight. Not for one moment would I go back in time and change the moment, because it created a new me. Those tiny feet served a purpose and are very beautiful.
Sometimes it is right to get rid of the objects. Memories are in your head, what you hold in your hand is an object, a reference to the past perhaps but not a memory. I have no tickets, no train passes from exciting days out, no old school ties and badges - in my mind, if I cannot remember them without - they were probably not that great.
I do have a large box of Lovey Dovey letters between It and I. We met when I was 12, and the letters from those days largely consists of moaning about school and my Dad. His consisted largely of Maths homework and the weather. Moving school, moving country and general ageing changed them - to the point in later life they became deep emotional outpourings of undying love - mostly on my part. Most of Its were about how much he drank, how much he didn't go to college, occasionally how nice some of my assets were and even more occasionally - that he loved me. No criticism here, the ability for emotional openness was always restricted. I knew that, youth and naivety thought I could change it and age taught me otherwise.
Not his fault - simply my choice.
So I burnt one today. Not in a ritualistic, macabre, lost my head way but in a symbolic - the past is a series of events that I no longer need to hold one to way. To hold on to the tangible assets of the past - in this circumstance - would be unhealthy. These are not letters I would pass on to my children and holding onto them would be holding onto something that no longer exists. It is funny that I only came across these letters a few months ago and had sat on the floor going through them. One of the boys was with me and we laughed as I read them one I had written when I was a mere child. I had even saved a love heart sweet that had to be 25 years old.
So these letters are beautiful, so full of hope, love angst, insecurity, passion and rage. A vehicle of communication between two people that were revealing traits in their personality that echo their future (if that makes sense) but they no longer have a purpose.
I fully intend burning them all. Not in a rage, not in a bundle, but individually and as and when I am ready to do each. I shall read every one first and then simply let it go. I figure that once I have incinerated all - I will be a very different and better person. If I remember the words they become memory and if I don't, they were not worth remembering. God, I love symbolism.
I have been to the GP today. Apparently being crippled is not totally unusual and a combination of all factors contributing. I have a new drug regime. I feel like I have been taken of Heroin and put on Methadone. As he says, sleep is crucial and this is simply a means to an end. Life is pretty much the same - don't you think?
I am concentrating on my exercise. Mainly out of boredom - you run out of things to do whilst lying with your leg elevated. I have been throwing in a few pelvic floor routines in as well, I am not in the slightest interested in having anyone in my life right now. I need to sort my own head out before I can start my future; but when the time arrives - I will have a positive mind and a pelvic floor like a taught trampoline. It pays to plan ahead
The children's lives are an emotional roller coaster. I have bribed them out of my bed and onto mattresses on the floor. I figure I can move them out a foot at a time. By 2011, I may have got my room back. One in particular is having a really rough time. Reluctant to go to 'Its' tonight, not for lack of love - more fear of leaving my side. He did not feel happy. Apparently Daddy told him that Mummy and Daddy are not ever getting back together. The evil voice in my head piped up "Did he mention he was shagging someone else?" The good voice said "I imagine that makes you feel sad but Mummy and Daddy both love you very, very much"
I asked him this evening if there was anything I can do to help
"Come with me to Daddy's house" he said.
A steely grin would be the most accurate description. Not only do I have to go to Daddy's house, but I have to have a cup of tea and stay a while. That is the thing about children - they cannot appreciate the sacrifices you make until they have their own children and even then: there is no guarantee.
The evil voice in my head was screaming 'You must be bloody joking, I would rather chew toenails'. The evil voice wanted to point out that I had in fact only found out Daddy's address 2 days earlier and only because I had given up waiting to be told and had decided that it seemed rather weird having your children stay somewhere, even if with Daddy, that other than the general location - you have no idea where it was. The evil voice wanted to shout "Frankly, if it wasn't for you lot - I would be happy never to cross paths again"
"If that would make you feel happy" say I, "Of course I can come around to Daddy's"
Bugger. Still - life is full of stuff that we don't want to do and I shall have to grit my teeth and get through it. By the time I have got rid of all the clutter, I will be in a place that requires no jaw clenching and much trampolining.
This, I am looking forward to.