Saturday, November 11, 2006

ashes

I spent yesterday cleaning up our basement which is kind of a mess.. kind of finished... kind of useful... kind of fun... kind of a dream for us. We have the "family room" with tiki bar... the "laundry room" with laundry... the "bathroom" which is a big blank space where *someday* a bathroom will go... a music studio which is Mike's little hiding place and my room... I'm never sure what my little room is.... It used to be a hallway to the furnace room and Mike's studio until Mike ripped out a useless closet and gave me some walls and a door... and now it's just mine. Is it an art studio? I take photos, make art and contemplate the meaning of beauty and vision here... Is it a quiet room for me to sit and write? It's quiet in here now and after all I am writing, even if it isn't a great novel or an epic poem... Is it an office? We do the bills and sort out our lives on paper... Is it a dump for all the books, software and stuff we don't know what to do with? Yes... and that is what leads me to the ashes. In my room, sorting out the contents, sifting through the books, software, photos, paintings and clutter... in all those heaps of things and stuff I found old poetry journals.... Skimming through them I learned a few things. 1) my writing from 1990 was better than my stuff from 1997... which was really bad 2) in 1998 I drank A LOT and 3) I wrote more poetry in 1999 than maybe all the years before and up until now... what was in about 1999? I don't know... I will find out when I have time to read instead of just skim... maybe I'll post some later... but stuck in with the poems I found notes, phone numbers, e-mail addresses and some really truly horrible 3-10 line poems I decided to shred.. the shredder wasn't plugged in though so I took them up to toss into the fireplace basket to burn later... there was something about them I could not resist so instead I sat there in front of the fire watching sheets of notes, numbers and words curl up and float away. I was so satisfied by the ashes...

When i was younger I remember being certain that every poem I wrote, every piece of prose I jotted down was like a little bit of my soul coming through. I don't think I ever stopped believing that, so what was it about them lifting away that was so satisfying? What was it about those moments that made my heart feel so light? Maybe as ashes they just feel like less weight...

1 comment:

Giddy said...

Yes, I would say were were blogging at about the same time this morning. Some of these coincidinces are starting to get strange.

I love the idea that burning those pages was like setting free a part of your soul. Beautiful concept.

I've tossed a lot of my old writing over the years... but I never thought about burning it. It would have been much more cleansing. A much better form of 'closure' to some of the more painful parts of life.