Last week, I wrote about my decision to burn my journals. The conversation that emerged from that post here and on Facebook was wonderful – people on both sides of the journal-burning divide explaining their point of view… which in the end is the only point of view that matters.
This week, I decided to illustrate what the burning was like for me because, well, you know how I am.
Okay, here we go!
On the day I decided to burn my journals (which was a few days before I actually burned them), I felt a rush of YES-fueled adrenaline.
The five journals in question were written over a 4-year period. They were full of guilt and hurt and confusion and misplaced anger, and some well placed anger too. To be fair, they were also full of growth, however ungraceful and one-step-forward-two-steps-back it was. But I’d moved on. I didn’t need them to remind me of anything. And even as I gave them one last look-through on the day of the burning, I didn’t have any second thoughts, no sense of panic. The journals were redundant. Unnecessary. All the lessons in those pages had been written indelibly on my heart.
I tore out all the pages – there were hundreds! I put them in a box and carried them out to the backyard, where a roaring fire waited, along with the biggest full moon of the year… which I took to mean the universe was giving me a big high-five for my decision.
My husband and sister-in-law were there. (They brought stuff to burn too. It is my opinion that everyone in the world over about age seven probably has stuff they could stand to burn.) I went first, and since my posse was there with me, I said a few words.
And then I started tossing pages into the fire, slowly at first, but pretty soon I was throwing in handfuls at a time. The fire got wild, the night air crackled, I watched the ashes floating skyward, and I felt… exhilaration… closure… release… forward motion. In some fundamental way, it was like I’d just stepped into myself.
When we were done, we held up our margaritas and toasted the burning. My sister-in-law (who had just come to live with us three days before) said, “To new beginnings.”
Yes, my insides hummed.
I’m sending pictures of the burning out to everyone on my mail list. If you’re not on the mail list, I want to invite you to sign up. In addition to linking to the new post each week, I delve a little deeper into the topic at hand (and occasionally take side trips into uncharted territory). Some of the best conversations I have are with people who reply to the weekly emails. I’d love to have you join in the off-blog shenanigans.