Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Define Junk


When in a quiet, contemplative mood, don’t ever attempt to go through that drawer or box full of old diaries, journals and scraps of paper with scribbled thoughts and poetry from your childhood and youth with the thought of tossing them.

You will simply end up reading over all those things and it will break your heart – just a little bit – to visit that young girl you once were.

And so you’ll put it all back for another time – a time when you’re feeling tougher, a little more ruthless, more inclined to let go.

I wonder when that time will ever be?


I am in the process of purging throughout the house. My definition of what constitutes junk is impeding this process.


photo credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1196831

25 comments:

Cid said...

When my mother was moving out of our family house my sisiter and I went through all our junk that we had left behind. We read some of my old journals and then promptly threw them in the fire. Now I regret it. I miss my 14 year old self, even though I didn't visit often I just liked knowing she was there. I still have all my old letters. I wonder if my first boyfriend has the ones I sent him?

Deidra said...

There are some things I just don't even open. Just throw them away without even looking. I know it would be a lost cause if I dared to peek inside.

Zhu said...

I find cleaning junk very therapeutic in a way. I feel better afterward, I like knowing where things are, knowing where memories are.

I don't have much to clean here though, most of my childhood stuff are in France.

VE said...

Ha! I have a much different definition of "junk".

Drawers....junk....boy, you are really asking for it! But I'll be nice and spare you the juvinile humor...though its hard (see, I couldn't resist one pun)...

Bwahahaha

Reeny's Ramblin' said...

When I am set on a mission of purging I take into consideration when the last time I even thought about whatever it is I am throwing out. If it's more than a year, it's gone.

Bee said...

There is definitely some junk, I'm sure. But what you describe here? Not junk, Beth.

You should hold onto the written record of your girlish self. I wish that I hadn't thrown away the journals and letters from my adolescence.

Cheryl said...

My father, bless him, through all that stuff out for me without even asking. Oo, haven't thought about that for years. I do remember how self focused and unaware most of my writing was, so maybe it's best they're gone. I like the thought of traveling light, of never needing to pay for storage units. But it's also nice to look back, like when I look over some of my first semester drawings, so I can see where I once was and where I am now. I can imagine how useful old diaries would be for a writer like you.

Cheryl said...

threw!!! threw!! not through :)

Beth said...

Cid:
You just reminded me of the stash of old letters in another drawer - they really, really have to go!

Deidra:
Having peeked this time, perhaps I won’t even look next time??

Zhu:
It is definitely therapeutic – just wish I was a little more ruthless.

VE:
Okay, okay, so I need an editor! Want the job? ;)

Reeny:
That works for me with clothes and other crap – thought it would (hoped it might) work for this stuff!

Bee:
I’ll hold on for awhile, for just a little while longer... :)

Cheryl:
You know, there is a love story in those old papers (age 17!) that might be worth writing about...hmmm...

oreneta said...

Beth hon, I LOVE to purge, but those will never ever ever be junk. No one, but no one will ever think of them as junk, and if you bin them you will be sorry for ages, and your grandkids will be pissed.

Please in the name of all that is wonderful, never junk them. I'll stuff them in MY storage bin next year and keep em for your kids if you want.

Just don't bin 'em.

Shelby said...

personal junk is different than other people's junk. you define it.. it can be beautiful .. :)

cheers.

Seraphine said...

you still are that girl, beth. she didn't disappear, not completely. rather, you have layered upon her the life you have lived.
i have a box somewhere in the spare closet with my youthful letters, journals and photos.
i think i'll leave them there.

The Bodhi Chicklet said...

Alas, one man's junk is another man's treasure. There will never be a time for purging some things. They are a part of who we are. I've gotten around that by containing. Yup, Rubbermaid to the rescue! I bought two different sizes, but lots of them. They stack neatly and I don't need to look at them unless I want or need to. Not a solution for all, I'm afraid.

Beth said...

Oreneta:
If YOU, the purging connoisseur, are willing to store MY papers, I’m convinced they’re worth keeping. ;)
(Thanks for the offer - I was already half-way there...)

Shelby:
My definition of beautiful is still a bit too all encompassing – but I’m working on it...

Seraphine:
I think that young girl will be staying – not only within me but amidst those treasures. I can visit her in either place.

The Bodhi Chicklet:
Sounds like a solution for me – surely wherever I end up there will be room for a few (!) Rubbermaid containers...

laughingwolf said...

i need to clean out a lot of junk, too... last time i got rid of about 500 pounds of paper/magazines/etc.

Beth said...

that stuff is NEVER junk in my book. get a box, load it all up, tape that sucker good, and hide it away somewhere. Whenyou are old and gray you will want to read that stuff.

XOXOXO

Lynda said...

I agree with the others.. don't junk them. A few years back when we were living in Sydney, a morning radio announcer started reading HER 14 year old self diary aloud, an excerpt each day. It was brilliant. She was in love with Barry Manilow... my drive to work was sometimes the best part of the day because of her. Why don't you post some excerpts on your blog...I am sure they are fab.

sherry ♥ lee said...

The fact that you haven't junked these treasures means that they are not meant to be tossed. It means you are to hold on to them and always be able to go back and revisit those times...tears and all.

apriliniowa said...

1) I like how you respond to everyone's response. It feels more like a conversation somehow. 2) I have a basement filled with boxes and boxes of old stories, poems, letters, scraps of thoughts, and even college essays that I try to avoid. But never ever will throw away. Each time we move though, I consider it. 3) Journals though. They are worth re-reading. Several times a year. It lets me know if I am changing. Or devolving.
With that, wonderful post. Enjoy your weekend & thank-you for thinking of my boy, Ira. I appreciated your sincerity. :)

Maggie May said...

I get SO sad doing that.

Seraphine said...

they say a little junk in the trunk is sexy. who am i to argue?

Laura said...

I did that a few years ago. It turned out to be a wonderful exercise: I saw how unhappy I was for so very long. That was part of the impetus for getting the divorce.

Cheryl said...

It is a process that is both healing and painful at the same time. Do not toss those writings, keep them, box them, store them, but at some point, even years from now, you will be glad you kept them.
(((((HUGS))))

Casdok said...

Ive just been having a good clear out to and it feels good!

Seraphine said...

aww. get well soon beth.
the horse will be waiting for you
to jump on again.