SOL March 27th Tired of Boxes

Tired of boxes. Full boxes, empty boxes, cardboard boxes, plastic boxes.

Almost every box seems to hold one treasure or more: Photographs, a student’s note, a creation by one of the boys. But I’m still tired of wading through their jumbled contents. One box contained final bits of junk from our last move that we literally never touched in the 12 years since. Although tempted to dump it all, I found some gems: The ad through which I found our nanny for N. in 2008, a bunch of mixtapes from the 90’s, magnetic poetry just waiting for a reprise.

It’s the photos that always draw me in, though. Still in their developer’s envelopes in collections of 24 or 36, I see and remember the way we were and that we were not always the same people. Today it was pictures of the motorcycle trip my husband and I took to Italy and Spain when I was 3 months pregnant with N. followed by snapshots of my oldest son when he was about 11. There I am with my favorite niece, both of us smiling brightly into the frame. That was the summer I arrived in Atlanta and she picked me up from the airport. How are you? She asked. Pregnant! I said. And we laughed for most of the car ride back to my brother’s place.

I’m still tired of boxes and all these parts of me they carry.

It’s actually not the boxes that I’m tired of. It’s the need to decide over and over again which parts of myself and my story I’m going to keep and which ones I can shed.

One day the boxes will be gone – stored or recycled – in any case, out of sight. Right now, I can hardly wait for that day to arrive.

10 thoughts on “SOL March 27th Tired of Boxes

  1. I have always felt that unpacking boxes after a move is more difficult than packing them before the move. Unpacking stirs memories packing didn’t, usually because of the timeframe. In unpacking we need to find the best spot for the newly unpacked item whereas before they were already in that spot. And yes, there are always those boxes re mover that were never unpacked from the previous move.

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  2. These lines are so beautiful and true:

    “I’m still tired of boxes and all these parts of me they carry.

    It’s actually not the boxes that I’m tired of. It’s the need to decide over and over again which parts of myself and my story I’m going to keep and which ones I can shed.”

    Wow.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I haven’t moved in over 17 years. We thought about moving a couple of years ago, but I pulled the plug because it would have been such a huge change for the kids. Different school districts, etc. I hope you have moved somewhere fun!

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  4. All of your writing is beautiful but this really hit home, because I understand deeply what it feels like to create yourself anew, or eliminate parts of yourself you’re ready to bury. Like Amy, I adore these lines:

    It’s actually not the boxes that I’m tired of. It’s the need to decide over and over again which parts of myself and my story I’m going to keep and which ones I can shed.

    It reminds me a little of the catharsis in journal writing and then elimination. Do we really need to keep it all? Or is it the mere act of writing and experiencing that is enough?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, that question of which writing to keep. When we were clearing my mother’s house I remember being so overwhelmed with all the stuff. I wish I had salvaged a few more pieces of her handwriting – grocery lists, reading notes, recipes. She was writing all the time. When it’s time I hope that my sons will have an easier time. Putting at least some of my writing into a book has made it easier to part with other bits along the way.

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  5. You end by saying, “One day the boxes will be gone – stored or recycled – in any case, out of sight” as if this ends. But the previous lines about the need to decide over and over again are truer than this one. You may put these boxes out of sight, but you are a story teller – you are a writer and your mother’s daughter – I suspect you will be choosing parts of your story over and over for years to come. A good thing, if exhausting.

    Liked by 1 person

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