I've shredded three garbage bags full over the last week or so, and another is over half full. I've filed about 1/3 of that amount. It's almost done. Other than a few odds and ends, I'm finally caught up with all the filing I didn't/couldn't do over the last two and a half years. Whew. Then I had to shred all that which was, finally, old enough to throw away.
I took some of the shredded paper to the dumpster, but I'm keeping part of it for mulching when I plant grass in the back yard. I also found another cool use for it ... I'm going to use some of it to make a warm and soft padding for a bed/shelter for The Kitty. I'll put it on the bottom of the shelter, then top it with some carpet or some sheepskin cloth or part of an old blanket I have hanging around. Just gotta find the shelter. I'm going to the thrift store tomorrow and see if they have anything I can adapt. Last night Caroline and I talked and she wished we were closer so I could have the dog house she bought for her stray kitties. She is leaving it behind when she moves, and I doubt the next owner will take care of them like she does. Sad. If I were still there, I'd try to help her catch them and take them to the shelter before she leaves.
I have also found a number of papers that had some interest for me. Some of them held tender memories, others made me sad. I found some random, loose pages from a notebook that I apparently used as a sort of journal. Some of the pages were incomplete with only part of the entry present. What struck me was how sad the notes were. I was struggling with my marriage almost from the beginning. It was really sad to face how difficult some things were for me. The balancing of issues in a blended family is always tough, but gee whiz, these entries were very difficult to read. I wonder how I stayed married so long. Oh, I know it sounds lame, but I already had one failed marriage, and I couldn't face another. I did everything I could to make it work. And I lied to myself over and over about so many details, and just trudged through. Ah, well, begone with that!
I also found a shoe box filled with my mother's "things." It is a box I brought home after her death, just because I wanted to see what was in it. I went through it several years ago, and set it aside for a more thorough look when time allowed. It was full of clippings from newspapers and magazines, things that she valued enough to take time to save. There are recipes, poetry, jokes, all kinds of things. What is neat about it is that I see it as a glimpse of my mother that was not always evident on the surface. I'm not surprised by any of it, but it isn't what everyone saw.
I didn't open the box this time, but there were a couple clippings that had apparently fallen out. The newsprint is very old, yellowed to an amber, aged appropriately for something dating back to 1920s through 1940s (my best guess). I'm going to share one of them with you:
Last night we met again, but the thrill we knew
In our happy yesteryear was still as death
Inside two hearts that grew apart.
Outwardly, so little you've changed
But deep in your soul you're a stranger to me.
Awkward minutes of silence replaced
Those ecstatic pauses in the hot coursing
Of our now dead love that brought you
Still closer to me.
The little nothings that we once spoke
Now fall like insensate, idle patter
That mocks the love that died . . .
A love that died because it burned so fiercely
In its prime that out of necessity it expired,
Leaving ashes . . . cold . . . and grey.
Our love lies buried in the ashes of the fire
That burned on our alter of desire.
Just recently I was talking with a friend about our "old loves." We were saying how that passion hung around and burned in us each for years. Then we met those guys again many years later, and it was an enormous let down. for me it was much like the above. I remembered the sweetness of our love, but although he looked much the same, the enchantment was just not there. I'd carried him in my heart for, hmmm, forty years, and now ... nothing. My friend reflected the same with slightly different dynamics.
Isn't it strange how that sort of thing happens? It made us both chuckle and roll our eyes.
And yesterday I found this poem that my mom cut out of some newspaper reflecting that she, too, shared that same feeling apparently. I wonder if she encountered that boyfriend from high school and felt that rather wistful moment of realizing that she had carried around with her something that was long gone or something she simply made up in her heart as the ideal love. Or did she look at it as something reflective of her relationship at the time with my dad? I know their marriage wasn't perfect, despite the 69 year duration. So was there a time when she felt a distance from my dad or was this poem reminiscent of that ideal love?
I'll never know, yet I love having this opportunity to have the briefest peek into my mother's secret side.
We all have secrets. We all have pasts. We each have brought some old emotions from a previous chapter of our lives with us. Is your special memory still alive, or have you had it dispelled by a chance ... or planned ... meeting that made you shake your head? You don't have to reveal the content if you don't want to, but tell us ... is your extraordinary retrospection here and now, or is it then and done?
OK, ya want some pictures? :D
This was a couple days ago, nothing special, just a really pretty horizon. Cool clouds, huh?
This is "my" mountain, Nogal Peak. No, it's not the mountain I live on, but the one I identify with because it is the same name as my town. And it is so unique. This mountain is almost directly behind my house and past a couple other ridges.
Same mountain, different view, right at sunset.
Wanna see a cool cloud? Lookee here!
Same cloud, different angle. Amazing.
Have a super weekend!!
Life is beautiful!!!