Before I leave to Guam, I wanted to have my living area in some kind of order. (Yeah, because my sister is coming to visit my mom when I'm gone and I didn't want her to see my mess.) It was a mess for a couple of reasons. One, I was a teacher so a bit of a packrat, and I had some boxes that I had brought home from school that still needed to be sorted out. Two, I have an aspiration to be a collage artist, so I would save random stuff thinking it would be good for collage.
Now that I think about it, I have more than two reasons. I am also a wannabe crafter, and I have tons of craft things, like rubber stamps, stickers, and all of my scrapbooking materials from when I was into that. And books, I have a lot of books, and they arrange themselves in random ways when I'm not looking.
In this sorting out process, I come across lots of things that bring back memories, and then there are those things that for some reason I kept, but I have no idea why. I plan to get rid of those things, but I have fear that I will toss out something significant. (I seem to have done that as I can't find some things that I really want now.)
And then there are these hyper-significant items that evoke such deep hurt that I can't even bear to open the folder. But because the story here is significant in my life story, I don't want to throw it out.
In my cleaning, I found this little booklet I've kept for many years - 10 Rules for Happiness and Contentment - by Forrest C. Shaklee, Jr. (remember Shaklee products?) Rule #4: "Live in the Joyful NOW. ... You cannot alter the happenings of yesterday, so why allow worry over them to destroy the happiness of today? "
Whenever I have had hurts in my life, I have found that the best way to heal is to use the experience in a creative way, such as a character in a play, a collage, or a poem. I have never dealt with this particular story in this way. Will it make me sad, angry, confused, diminished? Probably, but in the end, I will have taken a journey of understanding and when I reach the end, there must be, WILL BE, some kind of resolution. So though Mr. Shaklee would say let it go, don't worry, be happy. But something else, like a soul thing, is telling me to deal with it, make something creative from this significant story.
So I will.
Diane Aoki is a writer who explores other modes of creativity as her intuition leads her.