this morning i set out on a simple task to find a small cardboard box in which to store my growing postage stamp collection. once i opened the doors to storage, the closet here in my art room, i knew how i was going to spend the day. or how i was going to spend a good part of my day. i sorted through my life. life. in a box. the emotions swirling around and through set my mind to reeling. i didn’t want….i dont want….someone to have to look through this box someday and wonder who all these people were in relation to me. plus, i’m pretty much over and done with that whole mid part of my life. i looked at each photo. tossed most of them into a container. i ended up with a small bit of memorabilia to keep. photos of who i was. a couple photos of him. the progression of life as i see it now. the struggle to love him unconditionally. the battle to remain myself through that whole bit of marriage to him, to dogs, to cats, to my wild life here in alaska. frodo, the feline extension of my heart. frodo, who traveled with me around the united states as we chased happiness with him. the beads frodo wore ’round his neck from kittenhood to death. pluck, my road dog. pluckie, the one who traveled with me everywhere in that little red S-10 truck. pluck, my lead dog, the one who slept with me on that futon after we divorced. i am a totally different person now. i have to be. so. i carried the overflowing container and a box out to the burn barrel, poured it all in, set it to fire. ashes settled in my hair. ashes flew through the air and landed in the outer circle where the dog and the other dog and the cat watched this crematorial ceremony. an hour later, i went back into this pencilfox house….this jones house….brewed myself some chai, and sat at the table touching the little things that i had stored away and forgotten about. my college ID. the st brigids cross i wore ’round my neck. old coins. sterling dragonflies from sistermine. that silly smiley face button from college days. at this point, i can smile. i can see who i was and who i am. and someday, when that time comes, it will be clear to the ones who filter through my gone-life the person who was.  and no, i never found that box i wanted for my postage stamps. that’s a whole ‘nother task for a whole ‘nother day.

8 thoughts on “burning life.

  1. Some day the beauty that is you, will shine even in ash…
    Was it letting go?
    Or a solemn death of a character in your story…
    Just wondering. ..

  2. Dearest Coyote woman,
    Like you, I have a box of my most treasured treasures. And like you, I winnow the treasures from time to time. I let some go and I gather new ones to me. It’s all part of the process of life, love, and moving on. Of learning who we are. Dear Frodo. Dear Pluck. The best of life never leaves our souls.
    You have a beautiful soul.

  3. dear friend of the sage.
    yes, the best of life never leaves our souls. thank you for that reminder.
    and, likewise, you and your beautiful soul.

  4. i wish i could write like you. so beautiful. what i feel & what the hand allows to come out are very different. thank you for sharing these innermost feelings. i adore you. 🙏🏻

  5. heather, my friend.
    it’s not about writing like me. it’s about just opening up and letting it all out. you’ve done it. you ALWAYS do it. sometimes i want to write like YOU.
    i adore you, as well. you know that. xo

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