Up in smoke....
Late in the evening the other day, after the Christmas celebrations have wound down, I had this inexplicable urge to clean out one of my closets, one which hasn't really been cleaned for several years now.
Amidst the dust and cockroach eggs and droppings (which gave me a bit of a sneezing spell), I found a treasure trove of memories - links to my past, both recent and distant.
I found a lot of photocopied cases and case digests from my law school years, old issues of my school organ (I was a college writer in those days), some of my son's old baby toys, empty boxes, shopping bags, and used gift-wrapping paper. I found my old photo albums and my high school yearbook. There were also cards and souvenirs from various occassions, as well as campaign materials from Danding Cojuangco's 1992 presidential campaign and campaign materials from my own Dad's unsuccessful congressional and city council bids in 1987 and 1992 respectively. There were also a lot of miscellaneous items, such as old clothes, pens, a busted ring-type flourescent light bulb, aquarium fittings and accessories, porcelain cups, posters on human anatomy (my physician-sister gave them to me), a steering wheel cover, even my old car's rear garnish. There are a lot of other stuff, but I'm sure you get the picture.
After performing a sort of triage (identifying items that I could use, items that I didn't need but ought to keep and items that I ought to just throw away) I ended up with four trash cans worth of refuse.
Being somewhat of a sentimental fool, I didn't think that some of the stuff deserved to be thrown out with the rest of the garbage just like that, but I didn't want to keep them anymore as well. Instead, with an hour or so until Christmas day ended, I stuffed the items into two large shopping bags, and with my son (in his pajamas) in tow, I went deep into our backyard for some ceremonial burning.
Have you ever performed ceremonial burning yourself? I did it a couple of times before, whenever I come across stuff that, well, I want to dispose of in an "honorable" manner. For me its a way of getting rid of some memorable item from my past without dishonoring its memory by treating it like a mere piece of garbage.
A friend put it so eloquently when he said that "memories shouldn't hold you back". It appears neither should you hoard it as well. One of the manifestations of my "mild" OCD is I tend not to throw anything away. Almost everything is either too memorable, or too useful, to chuck into the trash. In Tagalog: sayang. But after accumulating tons of knick-knacks and doodads, instead of being "memories", they just end up using tons of space, and serve as breeding grounds for all sorts of undesirable animal life.
To cut a long story short, I ended Christmas day with a ceremonial bonfire in our backyard. With my son watching (and probably wondering what weird thing his dad was up to) I set a lot of old and useless stuff on fire...as a tribute to the memory of days long gone.
Bullshit. Hahaha. :-)
I'm just happy to get some closet space back again. :-)