The End of Summer
Summers seem to go by faster than other times. One moment it’s May, the next, September. When I last wrote in this blog it was about my attachments and the overwhelming desire to separate from them, to shed my skin. It took a few months, but it’s done. I’ll admit I still have more than I planned on, but an incredible amount was successfully given away. That seems to be the way things happen, though. You plan on one thing and very often something else happens. Was it better or worse, that’s all relative. What’s done is done.
What surprised me most about my Franciscan endeavor wasn’t the difficulty in cutting the strings, but the way my mind and body were at ease the moment each piece went away. Obviously it’s hard to give away that picture given to you by your father, or the dresser you’ve used since you were three years old, but once they are gone and out of sight, there isn’t an overwhelming sense of guilt like I suspected would fill the void. Perhaps it was the constant intercession of my interior dialogue reminding me that these things are not the love I feel for those close to me, they are only reflections, signs, stuff. You can’t take any of it with you anyway. The mantra was helpful, for sure, but I think the clean feeling has more to do with my own desire for a clean slate (read: conscience) than more free space.
Let me diverge for a moment:
When people asked me why I was giving things away, I had a number of answers. “I’m planning on moving to Europe soon, so I want to minimize what I have to put in storage,” was my most popular response. It fit that nitch of both truthful and incomplete while seeming to satisfy the curiosity of whoever had confronted me. You see, questions are complex things. When someone asks me, “What did you do last night?” I hear, “I want to know what interesting things you are willing to share with me about your activities last night.” They look similar, but they are certainly not the same. For one thing, my answer is totally dependent on who is asking the question. Do I know you? Are we friends? Can I confide in you confidently and openly? Then, of course, there’s a matter of what you would find interesting. Do I tell you all about the time I spent practicing typing to keep my speed up, or maybe about the time spent petting my cat? Unless you’re into that sort of thing, I’d probably keep it to myself. So what do I share then? I could tell you that I watched some obscure 80’s drama online and that you should watch it too. I could tell you that I daydreamed about writing things for my book or that I spent a few minutes planning out a board game idea I’m working on. Or I could tell you that my mind wandered back to a moment in my life that I’m totally ashamed of and that makes me fearful of my own redemption. There’s so much in every question. It’s never black and white… unless it’s a geometry test. Then I’m pretty sure it’s black and white.
Anyway, now that summer has come to a close, I’ll be jumping back into my winter hobbies. No, not cross-country skiing; as much as I love it, there’s no snow here! I’ll go back to working on my book or other stories. I’ll write more in this blog too. Winter is my season of introspection, I suppose. What better time to be writing.