Getting rid of the past
But not forgetting.
I am right in the middle of my “I cannot sleep” period. Every month, there are a few days when I don’t sleep. Sometimes I am OK with this turn of events, some nights I scream at the 4 walls. “Come on!!”, “Enough already” and a few more colourful word choices. Most of the time, I take it all in stride and let my brain take me to another land where I create stories.
A few weeks ago, I was working on a new article for Quilting Arts Magazine. I finished the first draft, and made some of the samples. So it was normal, in a way, that those samples were on my mind. I needed to create some work with them, and I started to wonder what. I had some ideas but all of a sudden, a new one popped into my mind. I had to resist getting up and running to the storage room in the basement to look for the imagery. And a good thing it was that I resisted, as I spent 3 hours cleaning and rearranging the storage area on Saturday only to realize that the photos were not there.
But, what I did find, exactly where I knew they would be, were my old journals from the mid-1990’s. From a time when I was journaling a lot to try and come to terms with all the changes going on in my life. Those journals have remained “hidden” untouched for the last 20 years. I have known for a while now that it was time for the past to be just that: past.
Saturday was the day. I sat on the couch and tore the journal pages into small bits. It was an act of love. A few words here and there caught my eye, and brought back fleeting memories of times gone by. Some really happy ones, some not so much. And yes, I kept exactly 4 pages and some bits and bobs that were stuffed in between the pages. One I wrote in 1977, at the height of my teenage years when I was trying to make sense out of falling in love. Another one is a Poem by José Angel Buesa that I copied in 1982 and it is called “Poema de la Despedida” or “Farewell Poem”.
The journal pages are in the recycling bin now but I could not destroy one more page, written in 1990, a few days after my birthday. It’s a soliloquy really. Written to myself: “It’s dark and it’s raining. It’s curious. I’m sitting in my sewing room and I started thinking about you. In how you are and all that. I must be getting old and I get melancholic. I’ve been here for some years now and I believe that people have started to forget. You realize that time goes by and everyone worries about daily life. Everyone is busy and nobody writes, or calls or remembers. I too, go days of being too involved in the day-to-day business of living and getting ahead without thinking about anyone else but myself, and my own… And at the end, it always comes back to one choice, and it’s choosing not to remember, so the distance won’t hurt and the loneliness, and the friendships that seem lost forever. It’s funny, or maybe sad, that when we make our choices in life we almost always consider where we are going, but almost never think of where we came from, or what we are leaving behind … I did not mean to make you feel guilty. I just wanted to let you know that today, I stopped for a few minutes to think of you … and decided to write you a note just to say “Hi, friend”, and to let you know that I’m thinking of you … Still.” (Excerpt)
And there it is. The past coming full circle that night as the thought that popped into my mind Friday night was to make a piece using photos of my father’s lumber mill. That’s what I went looking for in the morning, and finally found. Upstairs, in my files. It’s uncanny that I found that loose piece of paper in my journal and it sort of fell on my lap. Talking about the past and the future. People moving on. Forgetting. I have been thinking about where I come from for a while now; maybe because I haven’t been back in ages it seems. I can’t say I really “miss it” but I do miss it: the place, the atmosphere, the air, the wind. The trees. I want to capture those feelings in this piece. I need to get a few more images and then I’ll be ready to start.
Today, I wanted to share with you those words I wrote so long ago because despite the story that was being developed at the time, and whatever else that was going on, I was happy. I had my children, my family, a dad and a mom whom I saw often (and I’m so thankful for that) and a good life. The rest, well, it was part of growing up and again life …
I’m going to celebrate those memories I have. Stay tuned. Once again, thanks for reading. And whatever you do, keep creating,
PS: there is still time to register for the upcoming classes. Check it out!
What a lovely post Ana, looking forward, looking back. It certainly touched a chord. To think that no matter how painful some memories and experiences were and some of them certainly took us to our knees . However they all brought a gift , a gift of learning and experience and wisdom
I look back now at the age of 87 and my life was certainly not easy whose is really , but there is not one minute , one second of my life I would ever want to change because all those experiences shaped and moulded me and brought me to exactly where I am today. Totally happy and at peace and deeply grateful. Thank you for sharing Ana. I love your posts.
Thanks Marilyn. So good to hear from you. I hope you are still making wonderful things? I really appreciate you taking the time to write. It’s good to know that some posts touch a chord in some people. I write what’s happening in my life at certain times. Some of these posts are not easy to write but I write them in the hopes that they will inspire people or help people or make them think. If I did that, my job is partly done! So thanks for sharing. I am happy to read that you are at peace and happy. That’s what’s important. I am a huge believer that we are who we are because of everything that came before.
Take good care and keep creating. Sending you love,
I so enjoy your sharing in these posts, thanks for your openness and ability to convey these private and yet universal feelings