Coming to live in a new house, you sense an opportunity to begin again. What sort of life will you lead in this place? What habits will you abandon? Along with the regrettable tchotchkes and shabby side tables, you want to leave behind certain aspects of yourself. But some things you will carefully package in your sleep and bring along without intending to do so.
I remember the disgust I felt at age twenty when I saw how much space my life filled up in a small storage locker. My possessions weighed like an anchor on my mind. Now, married with children and more than twenty years older, I can’t even fit my life into a mid-sized moving truck. I am no mere anchored ship but have become a planet. I drag along these objects in my orbit like so many moons and rings.
It seems that accumulation is the rule in my present stage of life. The era of giving things up may announce itself some day. For now, however, though I may still add to what I am – though I may discover in a new place new aspects of myself that had previously lacked space to unfold – it is not possible to leave anything behind.