Monday, October 28, 2019

It seems that for thousands of years I’ve hauled around old scrapbooks from my high school days and several more binders of essays from my college years. By “hauled around”, I mean simply moving these tombs from one home to another, and stashing them, without perusing casually or trying to read. It seems that refocusing even briefly on the old days is too trying, interesting or productive as past times might have been.

Gradually it’s become clear that I’m the only one interested in these scrapbooks and notebooks. Although I’ve avoided re-involvements with these memories, there’s always been strong senses of attachment. The photos are of a very young me, and often with friends, most of whom have gone long-missing from my life. Photos make me wonder where they might be living, how their lives might have shaped-out. Rethinking old past relationships, and wondering what was or might have been with others, is overwhelming.

Similarly with college papers and creative story drafts. Writing each consumed time and energy. Take those technically-oriented college papers, which once researched and drafted, needed rewriting to satisfy rigid reporting models. The other writings, personal and creative, originated from real experiences that became semi-fictions. Maybe some are worthwhile, but again, reading and remembering can become overwhelming.

Those pictures and writings through the years, recording much of my past, long have been stashed untouched in a bottom drawer. Reminders of my beginnings, learning to think and growing pains, self-reveal to my depths.

This week seeking more physical space, I finally opened that drawer and removed the binders. I browsed the scrapbooks and opted to keep some photos awhile to remember a few meaningful individuals and events. The binders with writings are tabled beside my desk, eventually to look at, remember, and wonder. Maybe others than past choices would have influenced my life differently.

Returning to the past forces the discomfort of “sort of reliving”.

These memories are personal and soon will become history. A cleansing of the past that leaves only its product.

Dear Friends: Memories are too powerful and defining to let go of easily. Diana

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