Yesterday was "Black Friday," but my wife and I are at that age when it's far more prudent to get rid of stuff than buy new things, this massive old house we live in filled with what is destined to become, soon enough, life's own flotsam and jetsam.
Our age requires our downsizing. Right here before me sits a cream-colored Chinese cow, carved from marble, a homecoming present from a beloved colleague who often traveled to China. In just twenty years, who will care about it? Nobody. That cow will have to go--if not soon, eventually. I'm sounding morbid. Maybe. But I'm being real.
So yesterday, when I finally took some time to clean a bit down here in the basement, I ran across seven old cds full of pictures, disks I hadn't seen for a long time. I had no idea what they images held, so I put 'em in the computer.
Seven disks of pix of my family at a wedding, celebrating a marriage that lasted six months, at best. It was almost creepy to see the joy. Count 'em yourself--seven rolls of 35mm film--more than a hundred shots of sweet, smiling faces. Could well be that those seven disks are all that's left of that marriage.
I tossed them--all seven of them. Who wants 'em? Nobody. Who needs 'em? Nobody. They're right here beside me in the wastebasket as we speak.
Things like that little marble cow--it's going to be tough tossing things like that, really tough.
But these pix from a wedding better left forgotten?--should have been easy, right? I really had to toss 'em. Should have been no sweat. Nobody--I mean, nobody--wants those pictures anymore. Even the principals want them gone. Should have been a piece of cake.
Should have been.
But I've not forgotten that right here beside me, in the wastebasket, is a whole gallery of smiles that are gone, gone forever.
The pictures I can throw away, but something is there in the flotsam and jetsam that isn't so easy to toss.