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Monday, January 12, 2009

Redacting My Life


I’ve begun the process of redacting my life. I suppose it was inevitable. Possessions...things...gee-jaws and gimcracks no longer allure. This is the season of cold reality...the time allotted each of us to strip ourselves to truth and bone.

I’ve been busy. I’ve been culling my wardrobe to the bare essentials. There are clothes that I will never wear again (for I shall never be as thin again). Sigh. I’m pleased that the homeless and the poor shall be clothed. I’ve clothes enough to shroud this mortal coil.

There is the matter of books. I’ve amassed thousands (well, almost)
of tomes of wisdom, culture, history and philosophy. I created a library for the children I was to (never) have. I had dreamed that my progeny would feast on words of wisdom...but I have no children, no heirs or progeny. The books are packed in sturdy boxes for delivery to my community library. I pray that someone/anyone will find the words worthwhile there.

There is the matter of my Porsche and my motorcycle. The Porsche sleeps as a rusted heap. She had transported me/criss-crossed me across ALL of North America. She’s three decades old now. Rusted, worn and quite dysfunctional. I couldn’t bear to part with her because far too many memories of sojourns most exquisite reside within her soul. I had dreamed of restoring her to her former glory....but I’ve grown weary. My wrenches, too, succumbed to rust. I will bid her good-bye in the coming months...and I will cry.

Oh, how I’ll cry.

My beloved motorcycle? I’ll keep her still. She’s served me well and faithfully, propelling me to coasts most beguiling. I need her more than she needs me, and I hope to toss a pair of saddlebags across her frame and rumble down country lanes again.

There are documents galore that beg for immolation. There are toys and tools I’ll never use again...so they must go. I’ve grown grizzled and gray. I’ve grown too old to make good use of them again.

I’ve kept so much and need so little. I’m redacting my life to the bare essentials. All I need is the company of a few animal souls. A bowl, a plate, a cup and a few utensils. I need a pillow and a bed. A bit of music...a poem or two. Friends...and a true companion.

I’m redacting my life in order to travel light. Shrouds have no pockets and “stuff” has proved altogether too burdensome.

I’m redacting my life, my dreams, my hopes, my desires.

I’m stripping down to truth and bone.

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15 Comments:

Blogger shadowlands6822 said...

Jonas,
I, too, understand the need to reduce and redirect things that have accumalated.

I gave my books to a drug rehab program to help those who need their GED. The needed to have resources.

My clothes that are too big, now that Dan's death literally stripped the pounds from my frame, were given to some of my clients who live on Medicaid. Their budgets leave shopping for clothes at thrift stores and second hand stores.

I will cry a river when I have to sell Dan's Ford F-250 diesel because I cannot afford to keep the beast. I always thought that I could use it on the farm to haul things, but I can't lift the heavy loads that should go into the bed.

My greatest pain was selling the Harley to pay for the funeral costs. It was as if he died all over when "Black Betty" left on someone else's trailer.

Yes, my friend, it is painful and yet, their is a freedom when the trappings of a former life find their way to a new home...

I am glad you kept the bike...make good use of being "In The Wind" my friend....(you will need a few wrenches because there isn't a bike made that doesn't lay down on you)

Of all of the things that are gone with Dan, I think that I will miss those sunset rides more than anything else...it always felt like "Freedom" when we head the bike West and chased the sunset.

Wishing you comfort my friend and hope that there is a new beginning for you without the burdens of the past...

Mon Jan 12, 06:03:00 AM  
Blogger Cheesy said...

Please just be careful while editing your life dear. Keep some books for cold winter nights.. I sometimes find a book reread is a whole new story! I so need to clear out stuff...I just can't seem to face it~
If that bike brings you to the western coasts.. you better give me a heads up! I know this great coffee joint~~

Mon Jan 12, 10:30:00 AM  
Anonymous serenity said...

i feel the same...three bags of clothing sent off to a charity today...boxes of old cards and love letters in the garage ready for a trip to the fire pit at the beach...my library to be culled (but really i know myself all to well and it's probably just to make room for new faces on the shelves)...

years ago i volunteered in a hospital...for a three-week period i was assigned to the burn unit...a place of pain unlike any other i have ever seen...one of the treatments for severe burn patients was whirlpool therapy...where the charred skin would be removed...it was excruciatingly painful for patients...their screams still echo in my heart...but in this tearing apart of their physical form it was making room for something new to grow...

as i look back at some of the things i am releasing from my possession...the mix of emotions run very deep that flood over me with the memories...but it feels much the same as the burn patients...like a shedding of skin...with the temporary open, raw sore that will eventually be replaced by something new...not "things" necessarily...but something new in my heart...for with the release comes a renewal...

Mon Jan 12, 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger L'uragano (The Hurricane) said...

Jonas, i admire the culling, i admire stripping bear....because i know it will be freeing.

what i hate to hear are your references to you're being old, at the end of the line, etc. (although you say it much more eloquently).

i wish to strip down, too, but lack the courage. i keep thinking if i hold onto things...i won't disappear.

Mon Jan 12, 01:31:00 PM  
Blogger anna said...

I hope this new minimalist approach will help you on the road to where you wish to be.

Mon Jan 12, 05:42:00 PM  
Blogger tipota said...

the song truth and bones is lovely but i swear i heard stevie nicks singing "...children get older, an i'm gettin older too..."
as i read thru, thats just it. children grow up and leave.
then parents may feel the same ennui but just the other side of the coin from wishing you'd had them.
my friend you are free. you can get on that bike and ride with the wind. count your blessings, there are many many of them. and thanks.

Mon Jan 12, 06:14:00 PM  
Blogger Maria said...

Keep some oreos around, too. You need some oreos sometimes.

Tue Jan 13, 07:09:00 AM  
Blogger Selma said...

I understand this need. I must do it too. I've been clinging to too many bits and bobs for too long. And you're not old - you're wise and compassionate. There is nothing wrong with making room for the present.

Tue Jan 13, 08:24:00 PM  
Blogger Jay said...

"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly." ~Buddha~

Easier said than done. I'm a pact rat. It's hard to let go of the little things that we hold on to for reasons we don't understand. It's like trying to grasp the wind.

Wed Jan 14, 01:39:00 PM  
OpenID Bernice said...

Jon, after Hurricane Ike blew through my house and destroyed everything in it, I felt relieved, freed of the expectations that all that stuff engendered. But it's become clear that it's not the stuff that weighs us down, it's those expectations. Creature comforts themselves can be wonderful!
Maybe instead of parting ways with your Porsche, you can repurpose it--maybe a sculpture a la John Chamberlain?

Wed Jan 14, 02:38:00 PM  
Blogger soul_rebel said...

I'd guess that I own far fewer things than you, but I've recently been struck by the urge to toss them out too. I like to imagine that I'm cleaning the plaque off my life.

Wed Jan 14, 08:39:00 PM  
Blogger deb said...

"Shrouds have no pockets".

What are you planning on doing?

Wed Jan 14, 10:40:00 PM  
Blogger Jonas said...

Yes, Ms. Shadowlands, it's a dolorous business to sell the things that meant so much to those we've loved and lost. I've gone through the process twice...after each of my parents passed away. I still feel the pain.

Without a doubt, Ms. Cheese, I'll hang on to my poetry books and sundry others I've come to love.

I've no doubt I'll pass through the PNW again. The region is simply too beautiful. I'm up for coffee.

Ah, Serenity...you do have a way with words and thoughts.

Yes, my Tempest, I do tend to dwell too much on the whole "aging thing." I've spent way too much of my life roaming Alzheimer's wards. I'm warped that way.

This isn't really a "new" minimalist approach, Anna. I've written about it before. I've known for several years, now, that I must cast off burdens, and "stuff" can be most burdensome. I'm simply kicking myself in the butt for wallowing way too long.

You're right, of course, Ms. Tipota. Children aren't necessarily unadulterated blessings. Still...

I can't say I'm a big Oreos fan, Maria. Me and sugar don't coexist all that well nowadays. I prefer wine.

Thank you, Selma. Me "wise and compassionate"!?! Not nearly enough. But I'm not done, yet. Here's hopin'.

Nice to have you drop by again, Jay. That Buddha was a smart dude. I'm learning to appreciate him more and more.

Oh, Bernice, you have NO idea how much I admire your grace under such duress! I'm all for creature comforts. I've had many. More than enough. My Porsche has been reduced to a rust farm. I'm hoping to find her a good home.

Ah, Reb, you're probably right. I possess far more today than I did when I was your age. Funny thing, though, I was happier when I had less stuff and more enthusiasm. I doubt I'm alone in feeling that way.

No worries, Deb. I'm not trying to be morbid, just realistic. There's still a bit o' fire inside me. I hope to someday cross the finish line happy, content and...light on my feet.

Fri Jan 16, 12:15:00 AM  
Blogger the psycho therapist said...

My dear Jonas,

I completely understand and have begun the same process.

Pruning, for me, is both glorious and painful. I am cultivating greater acceptance of it all and renweing reverence for it all.

Peace.

Fri Jan 16, 07:31:00 AM  
Blogger Jonas said...

Nicely put, Ms. PT. Pruning IS both glorious and painful. The whole idea is to foster new growth, no?

Sat Jan 17, 11:28:00 AM  

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