10 Years of Ashes

I took this picture three years ago. At the time, it was every journal I’d used for the past eleven years. Of course, the pile only grew after that.

Until now.

Very early in the packing process, I got rid of the ones that were empty or almost empty, clipping out any pages I wanted to keep. Anything that was full or nearly so, though, I dutifully repacked for moving.

Today I decided to take another look at them. On my way to work, I grabbed a stack – most of the pocket-sized journals, as well as a larger one – and today I went through them. I realized that most of the stuff between 2000 and 2004 or so is amazingly incoherent and entirely irrelevant to who I am now.

That’s not me anymore, and that hasn’t been me in a long time, and god knows it’s not like I’ve actually pulled these out and reread them in the last fourteen years.

I didn’t actually set them on fire, though if I wasn’t at work, I’d be tempted to. Instead I ripped each of them out of the hard covers, dropped the covers in the trash, and dropped the pages in the shred bin. Not as visceral as burning, but almost as theraputic.

I’ll grab another pile tomorrow, or maybe tuck into them tonight, and when I’m done, maybe I’ll take a new picture.

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