I burned about 20 years of journals. Pages and pages of gut-red poetry and angst; cosmic gorgeousness and tender prayers; lists of wants, boyfriends (a loose term), and favourite perfumes.
With every page I fed into the fireplace, I smiled. Thank you. Goodbye. Hellohhh here & now.
REASONS FOR THE BIG BURN
- I’m not interested in the idea of leaving a legacy. If I die tomorrow and vanish from everyone’s memories, fine by me. I’m here for now.
- I love deep and I’m very ritualistic, but I’m not very nostalgic.
- I love my present and I love my future. I love the vastness of my past. But I’ve found that investing in the future has way better ROI (Return On Investment).
- I’ve come to the conclusion that reliving pain is actually not that conducive to my joy, growth, or creativity. Nope, it just isn’t. I’ve tried recapitulation and obsessive attachment as a means to self-improvement, and it blows. I can find plenty to be sad about in my current life — I don’t need to dig up old material.
- I love ritual and adore fire. So, duh, let’s BURN THE PAST. Really, if you want to burn something DOWN, invite me. Funeral pyre, anyone? I’ll bring the matches.
- For me, clutter-free living is up there with rainbows, front row seats, and answered prayers.
INSIGHTS FROM THE BURN
- It helped me become even more glaringly aware of my insignificance on the planet. I find this thrilling. Generally, I’m happy with the work I put into the world. No false modesty here. But realistically, not long after I die, my work will fade from view. Beyond, say, my great-grandchildren, if they ever come to be, I’m dust on this plane. Dust to dust.
Personal insignificance is provocative when you’re making your art. Remembering how insignificant you are helps you to be more daring, more honest, more … here.
- Privacy is powerful energy to harness. One of my favourite things about being alive is the fleeting intimacy of events. Me. You. A moment only we shared. Gone. God, I love that compression of the sacred and the mundane. I like knowing that most everything will never happen again. So let it go.
- I want my past to move through me like water. I want my ideal future to come to me as easily. Fluid yesterday, fluid tomorrow.
- You get to make it all up anyway. History is malleable because memory is subjective.
There are historians. There are burners. I’d never advise on journal-burning matters. But I can tell you this: Traveling lighter helps me shine brighter.