Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Yesterday I watched, Unknown White Male, a documentary about a young man who 'woke up' on the NYC subway and realized he had no idea who he was. Not the best documentary I'd ever seen, but it did make me think thoughts I'd never thought before, rather like a brain tickle.
One part stood out hugely to me. This young man had returned to Paris where, in a small attic, he'd stored his belongings years prior. And as he sat there going through boxes and piles of stuff, he realized he'd been a pack rat. But now? Because he had no memories of those boxes and since his lack of memories had made him into a different person, well, he just looked at all the junk and felt separated from it. Basically, all those 'treasures' meant nothing to him.
And that scene struck me because recently I've wondered at how easily I'm able to get rid of stuff, things I'd planned years ago never to part with. But now it makes sense--I'm a different person than I was back then. Or greatly changed, anyway. And I can now view all this stuff rather dispassionately and fling it out to the big world (otherwise known as Salvation Army). I mean, we're talking over 600 books and large bags of clothes and myriad knick-knacks and fabric, dishes and magazines. Stuff I'd bought delightedly... stuff I'd collected, believing it would help me 'keep up' with others and aid my insecurities.
It's a Good Thing, I think. As I've tried to cooperate with God while He's attempted to change me these past 13 years, especially, I've noticed much of the changing is all about letting go. Letting go of the past--its (or rather, my) failures and non-willingness to forgive. Letting go of how I believe everything and everyone should be. Letting go of always having to be right and having to voice my opinions... and having to teach everyone, everywhere, all the time, wherever I go.
Well, all of that and much, much more.
Anyway, I'm glad I watched that documentary yesterday. It's gonna make storing away the pieces of my life easier. And besides, they are just pieces--not the whole. I am not my stuff. Most of my Real Life is on the inside of me and cannot be packed away in any box.
"Never say never..."