Sunday, August 5, 2012

Fire, Ash, The Past

Yes. And no.

I worked in the garden until it rained hard and I had to come in.

Then I tackled the pictures. The pictures from forever ago. In boxes, half stuck together, mice-chewed edges, memories oh yes, memories.
There were three boxes. I keep feeling like there's another one somewhere.
I didn't know where to begin so I began to simply put them into piles of this person and that.
These two, those two, all of us, piles, stacks. Whatever.

That was as far as I could go with it and at least there is some order, as un-ordered as it is, and they are all tucked safely into boxes with lids bought years ago and never once opened until today, the plastic still wrapped around them.

And I threw a million pictures away. The overly-blurred, mostly. The people I didn't even recognize. The children of people I don't know any more.


I burned them. They are still burning.
They are not part of my life any more.

I guess that's good.

It's something, anyway.

I know there's another box somewhere.

I can't even bring myself to go look for it.

And Mr. Moon is on his way home with a couch, a bed, a refrigerator. Where will these things go?

I remember when getting new things was a joy.
I remember a lot of things. Not every thing by any means.

Now I've added more fuel to that fire. All the old letters given back to me that I'd written to a friend of mine who is dead. I've put them to the flame and now they're gone too. All those words and all those days. They are gone, baby, gone.

I think I'm having an old-life crisis. Or maybe it's just Sunday.

I found an old friend on Facebook today but I didn't/haven't written her. And when I was going through the pictures today, there she was with her baby whom I see on Facebook is grown (of course) and who has children of her own.

I just don't have it in me to reach out. I just don't have it in me to reach back.

Not today.

Smoke and flame and ash. Maybe I'll scoop it all out when it's cool and sprinkle it on my garden.
There. That would be a positive thing to do.

There is nothing ever truly disappeared from this universe. It is okay to change, however, the form of the energy. At least, that's what I think. We humans can't really do much, but we can do that.

We can grow collards from our memories. We can fertilize tomatoes with chicken shit. We can collect the waste and create life of a different kind.

That is the sort of newness I can still find joy in. That is something that in this crazy world I can still make some sense of.


  1. Well, most interesting what you made of the cement-grayness: ash-grayness,
    turning silvered memories into collard greens, no less!

  2. It's motherfucking Sunday, Ms Moon. Sunday.

    Scatter them tomorrow. Benadryl tonight, and sleep.

  3. Gosh, I'm wondering if I can burn a whole bunch of shit myself. I think, though, that the Weber wouldn't do such a good job -- and building a fire in August in Los Angeles is not exactly a good idea, if not completely illegal.

  4. I love the idea of mixing the ashes into your garden. Reduce reuse recycle at it's best

    mucho love to you on this sunday ms moon

  5. something similar happened to me this weekend. i had the opportunity to meet up with a couple of people i new in a former life and since tony had other stuff to do, i passed. i guess the best way to explain it was that i wasn't in a mood to go and hear about who died, who has been awol, etc. without having some support with me. it's gotten harder and harder for me to look back at my pictures of my squatting days because so many kids are just gone.

    i plan on having some cooking therapy tomorrow. for some reason i feel my self esteem to be directly tied to the number of things i can put in the freezer that are made in the crockpot.

    before i forget we have tons of ash- what's the best way to use it in the garden.

    be well as always


  6. I was having a thought along the lines of SJ above. It's Sunday. You've dealt with more than any one person probably should. And on a Sunday no less. Have a martini!

  7. A- Yes! My god it is a gray day.

    SJ- I think you are very wise.

    Elizabeth- You could do one bit at a time in the Weber. You could. It would be legal. I think.

    Michelle- I am thinking of you so much. I am loving you from here.

    Mrs. A- I am doing some cooking therapy myself and it does help a bit, doesn't it? I understand why you didn't get together with those people. I just want to let the past be the past. And ashes are good for a garden. I think.

    Jill- I'm about to. Thank-you!
    CockSUCKING Sunday.

  8. I hold onto those old photos. Someday they will be tossed when I am gone but for now, I cannot throw them out. Too many memories.

  9. I find so much joy in your blog, Mary. This is my first stop every morning even though those Fuckers at My Glamorous Job keep me from posting. Well that and the fact that I'm insane so I can't listen to the "voices" option to prove I'm not a robot. And what if I am a robot huh? What then?

    Godspeed Curiosity which is supposed to land on Mars tonight.

  10. Ms. Fleur- It wasn't Sue's letters. It was Lynn's.

    Madame King- Thank-you. You have no idea how much I needed to hear that. And yes- godspeed Curiosity. On every level.

  11. I am in awe, and inspired. I tried to purge some shit today too, the shit piled high on the dining room table, mostly papers from owning kids, school pictures, things that need shredding or filing or reading. I didn't get far, it was too nice a day. That shit just keeps coming anyway, in the mail, in backpacks, from I don't know where.
    But I really like the idea of burning some of that shit and putting in on my collard greens.
    I filled a paper grocery sack with old newspapers. Why do I still get them? I tried to cancel them but they said they would deliver all but Sunday for free. Poor dead trees, I need to be strong, to say no, to burn some shit.
    Hope you sleep well and all the stuff Mr. Moon is bringing fits somewhere.

  12. It can be exhausting to go through old stuff. I've been going through photos here to do some scanning (as you can tell from my most recent entries) and there is a certain fatigue involved in dredging up all those memories.

    My mom has a ton of photos of people I don't know. I keep thinking we need to attach names to them so they don't fade into the mists of time and become forgotten entirely, in which case they'd be fire fodder.

    On a purely practical note, I wonder whether adding ashes from burned photos to your garden would be a good idea. Seems like they would contain lots of chemical residue from the prints, which might be bad either for the plants or for you. Just a thought. Forgive my skeptical mind.

  13. I had a friend who used to go to estate sales and buy up people's old photos and letters. She stored them in an old trunk in her living room. It broke her heart that people passed on and the families were getting rid of these memories. I loved that she did this. Today I think the old photos that people toss would be valuable ephemera for us crafty artists. All that said, I am so, so with you on simplifying and getting rid of STUFF. The older I get the less I want. I am forever "spring" cleaning and yet there is always more. Sweet Jo

  14. Well, that's a beautiful though, fertilizing gardens with memories. Worth all the work for that alone.

  15. Syd- I think so many of my memores are painful.

    Mel- God. I remember those school days. ALL that paper. It drove me crazy. I am grateful I don't have that incoming crap anymore.

    Steve- You are probably completely correct about the ashes. I won't use them on the garden. I got stuck with the job of going through my mother's photos and it was horrible. I think that's why I don't want to leave my own kids such a mess.

    Sweet Jo- Yeah. I think the older we get, the more we realize that the more we have, the more shit our kids (or someone) is going to have to deal with. Which is just not fair.

    Denise- DO IT!!!

    Pamela- Exactly.

    Jo- And now, as Steve pointed out, I realize I shouldn't even do that. Oh well. It feels good to get those things out of here and on to the next dimension.

  16. Moving feels this way a bit - going through your life and deciding what to save and what to throw away. It's liberating to say goodbye sometimes. And scary as shit. Sunday sounded like a big day for you.

  17. Rachel- Exactly like moving only without the dire necessity. I am focusing on the liberating.


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