Oh boy

So, it really started to hit me, what I’m doing, when I started packing away my icons. It’s extremely hard to do, to be separated from them. It’s exactly like packing away the family pictures. And with it comes a flood of emotion that I’ve been forcefully avoiding. For more than half my life I’ve lived here in Berkeley, almost all of that time in this same room in the same house. I’ve been brutal in throwing away nostalgic items that I’ll simply have no room for: little knick-knacks, trinkets, ephemera. In this there is an element of cleansing, but also, it seems, a slightly inhuman and ungrateful devaluation of the past. We are who we are made by our experiences, for better or worse. Now I’ll be lacking some physical reminders of those influences. Having a peculiar memory, whole periods of my life and groups of friends long scattered to the winds are called to mind by a bookmark, a coaster, a ticket, and so on. I’m mixed in my evaluation of this. I realize it’s natural, and appreciate the friendships and the postive (and even some of the negative) experiences that have contributed toward who I am now, but too much focus on them is a distraction, too much a thing of looking over one’s shoulder rather than watching where you’re going. This, I think, is a fine example demonstrating why the neptic Fathers warn against nostalgia. I can also, because of this experience, see the reason to warn against posessions. This is an educational experience.