The last time I was in this airport was a lot longer than just a year and a half ago, it was another lifetime. Not that it means anything to me, I mean, being in the airport again. I’m not sentimental about it.
The last time I was here I was much more of a sentimental person. The lady who sat by me on the plane even asked me if my lifestyle, living out of a suitcase, had made it easier to de-clutter. I admitted that it had. I have found freedom in simplicity and in emptiness. Freedom from sentimentality. If I weren’t so concerned with global warming I would throw EVERYTHING away.
I started getting this way maybe two years ago. I threw away a lot of things I wish I hadn’t, but I don’t hate myself for it because I have this deep un-met emotional need to have less belongings and to not be so emotionally exploited. I wish I’d held on to my favorite pair of jeans.
I watched a movie- “Everything is Illuminated” -the main character is a collector who keeps all these random things as a way of preserving the past. It’s a complex for him. I was that way once, maybe even obsessively too. I liked the theme of the movie, the presence only makes sense in light of the past. When we disconnect ourselves from the past we lose our sense of reality, identity, and meaning. Like the Maria Taylor song, “We’ll get no where if we’ve forgotten where we’ve been.”
What I didn’t like about the movie is that the grandfather commits suicide in the end and by the reaction of the grandson we are to understand that it was his way of making peace. He’d spent his life running from the past pretending it didn’t happen. If he had found his peace, he wouldn’t have had to kill himself. That isn’t the appropriate response to finding your peace. My mom and I discussed it, and decided it would have been true if the reaction of the grandson had been, disappointment that he didn’t find peace in this life but hope that he found it in the next or if the grandfather had made peace and been able to live out the rest of his life. As it is, wasn’t all true.
I made my peace with the past by throwing it away. But you can’t forget it, you can’t deny it, otherwise you end up in a bath tub with slit wrists…apparently. Maybe it’s the difference between remembering the past and worshiping it, or being haunted by it.
Still I’d give anything for that pair of jeans.