Boxes piled high, bags packed.
Clothes stuffed and crinkled, not folded, just wrinkled.
Scarves thrown on top carelessly, seductive in their silkiness, kissing tattered pages of the books I always hoped I’d read.
A whole life in 17 boxes.
What about the things I can’t put in a box?
The feelings, the bittersweet memories, the exquisite experiences, the days so painful I wish I could forget?
Emotions come strongly, like twisting tornados in my chest.
I can’t go pleasantly numb or zone out like a zombie.
My whole life stands before me, in my hands and in my soul.
The art of touching every single item I own, deciding whether to keep it, where to place it and listening to see which box calls out it’s name—is exhausting.
Every item contains an imprint of a memory.
Every long, flowing apricot-colored scarf and pair of ripped blue jeans and piece of broken costume jewelry sends a shiver through my spine. An echo through my heart.
How many lives have I led? How many chapters have there been?
Things bloom and burn away so quickly; it’s hard to keep track of all that has been, all that is, and all that we hope will be.
It’s nice to stop, to pause, for a precious second; to digest and take it all in.
Icicle seconds never tick, in this hollow, strange in-between.
Memories fly around like snowflakes, sparkly and chilly on my skin, like January. Icicles of past moments melt as cool drops of water land on my tongue with a splash, a slow-motion tribute to who I used to be.
There is so much to keep, to hold close, to cherish and yet there is so much I can’t hang on to.
I have to let go.
To relinquish the warm glow of the past: the beauty, the pain, the wonder, the shame, the stinging sweetness.
I have to make space for something new.
Something more delicious.
It hurts. It’s freeing. It’s beautiful. It’s satisfying. It’s messy as f*ck.
This is life: staying still, peering into the past, and moving forward—all at the same time.
Always shifting, like a wicked little merry-go-round.
We’re always navigating the threshold of some long-awaited transition, a top-secret destination, an intangible location.
A surprising journey unfolds before our eyes like a golden carpet, daily.
And so, these thoughts billow from my brain and form thick clouds of silvery smoke that swirl around my hair.
I return to my breath.
The rapid rise and fall of my chest.
Rise and fall.
Inhale and exhale.
My breath anchors me.
It holds me, as I fall face-first into the unknown.
Author: Sarah Harvey
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock