Friday, March 16, 2012


I have a couple of boxes buried in the back of my bedroom closet that have the words "kid stuff" written on them in bold black marker. They contain some assorted keepsakes from my childhood. They had been hidden away for such a period that I had long since forgotten about them and lost track of what they contained. A few weeks ago, I was purging some junk that had collected around my house. It was during this exercise that I stumbled upon these boxes.

I removed them from their shelf and laid out the contents on my bed. There was an old camera, a Rubik's cube, a shoe-shine kit, a program from a 1975 Red Sox game, a recorder, a few prize ribbons, some old letters and cards, a few photographs, some drawings that I made as a youngling, two ballpoint pens, a couple of decks of time-worn playing cards, and a few yellowed grade reports from school.

I think most folks tend to hold onto stuff like this and dutifully drag it with them through life. Likely they open the boxes every decade or so with some pagentry and fanfare, feeling the contents hold some magic and power from times long ago. Some even think that these items contain some part of themselves. Myself, I tend to be a bit of a hoarder and too often fall under the spell of nostalgia. However, as I looked over this collection of stuff spread out before me, it gave me neither joy nor melancholy. It stirred nothing within me whatsoever, almost as if I had no connection with any of it any more. None of it held any power over me. It felt right to get rid of most of it.