Monday, May 19, 2008

Into the fire...

My brother and I have these conversations about how to properly dispose of the items associated with past relationships. His way, and it seems to be the way of many males I've spoken to, has been to gather up all old letters and photos and have a giant bonfire. I struggle with this idea. For a few reasons.

First of all, I'm not a fan of fire, although I've made greater peace with it in recent years. I grew up quite pyrophobic. Thanks to pyromaniac boyfriends though, I've been slowly initiated into the realm of fire-lovers, or at least fire-admirers.

Secondly, is it entirely necessary to obliterate all outward signs of a past relationship? In my experience, you can burn up all the old mementos you like; the experiences you share with people in relationship do not disappear so easily.

A few months back I went through and deleted a ton of email/msn correspondence and photos off my computer from past relationships, both romantic ones and friendships from the jw life I no longer have. It was cathartic. But really, the memories remain.

I am thinking about a summer bonfire for the more tangible leftovers. Perhaps it will be a symbol of release of the past into the great wide ether. Or, at least, a foundation for roasted marshmallows.

tall penguin

3 comments:

Joanne said...

Can I join in the burning festivities? I have a few things I could probably get rid of...

Leeman Tarpley Kessler said...

a friend of mine went through a painful divorce and spoke about not just a cathartic relief that came when he torched some of their possessions but of an almost spiritual release and sense of right. Now, this is from a guy I would not call religious or even very spiritual but it was interesting that it had such an impact on him. Thought I would share. -leeman

tall penguin said...

Yes Joanne. Of course. :)

Interesting perspective Leeman. I'm still not sold on the idea though. I've chucked some stuff in the past I now wish I'd kept. While I've been quick to let go of most stuff attached to past relationships, there are a few mementos which I think are worth saving.