Things keep moving out of here.
CDs, mugs (every time I open a cabinet in the kitchen I find something else that can go . . .
My children's books . . . OK, these were kind of hard to let go. But I don't have any children. My cousin K's daughter wanted them so they are not going far :-)
Three more big stacks of regular books. Cookbooks, book books, and a lot of play scripts. In case you're wondering, John Ford's 'Tis Pity She's a Whore, is a really great play. Disturbing, but great. There was a film made of it in the early 70's that I remember watching in college. Ford was a contemporary of Shakespeare's - when you're a Theatre Major, you read a really lot of plays and a lot of them are historic (yes, I read Tamburlaine the Great, too (Christopher Marlowe), and the plays of Aeschylus and Euripes, as well as Lanford Wilson and Clifford Odets - I liked them all :-) ).
Here's K (she's the one who loves the hand knit socks I make for her :-) ) and ME with the latest batch of stuff they took out of here. They came over Monday night and ended up with a small haul, each, as well as taking the children's books. I am always happy to see them.
Both Candy and Michelle commented on how they were not in this place of letting go where I find myself. I've thought a lot about this, and I think it's very individual for each person. They are both at very different stages in their lives than I am. My mom has been gone for six and a half years. I held on to her things that I thought I wanted to keep for all this time. And of course there are still some things of hers that I will keep - and I didn't let go of anything that came from Belfast with my grandmother. I'm not giving away heirlooms - but the truth of this matter is that I have no children to pass things along to - and so if my extended family would like things, I want them to have them.
And somehow I've come to realize that things are just not that important anymore. From the time I was a child, we moved a great deal. I had a group of things that were "my things." They were the only stable thing in each place we went. I spent my youth feeling like a gypsy - I was always the new kid, and it was was never easy - moving just when you thought you might have made some friends. But in each place, I had my things. They were always the same, and I even set them up the same way if I could - they were secure. They didn't change. Somehow they kept me safe.
And so, for a long time I had a serious attachment to things - and the safety I imagined they provided. But now, I'm in the place of letting go. These things no longer serve the purpose they once did, and in my heart I know that many of them will make someone else happy - at least I hope so. As happy and as safe as they did me for the time they were with me.
But my mom is not in her things. My life is not in my possessions. When you hold someone in your heart they are never truly gone, so there, in my heart, is where I hold my mom now. And my own life? I hold it all around me - and it's up to me to live it.
I heard a sermon once, many years ago, that has stayed with me. The gist of it was about living your life and moving forward - and that to do that, you have to have your hands free to catch the awesome stuff that comes to you from On High. Have you ever tried to catch something when your hands were clenched tight holding on to something else? Well, you can't - you have to let go. When you're holding on to the past, your hands (and your heart) are not free to reach out and catch the wonderful things that are coming to you.
I've held that vision in my heart all these years - it's how I know that it's time to let go. I'm not sure what's coming, but I know it's going to be awesome . . .
To everything, turn, turn, turn, there is a season, turn, turn, turn - and a time to every purpose under heaven . . .
. . . which is why I'm embracing this turn of being in the place of letting go. Your turn will come at some point - and you'll recognize it when it arrives. Trust me - you'll know it.