In honour of Mercury in Retrograde (Nov 16th to Dec 6th, 2018) here’s some perspective on letting go. Let me back up: Astrologically speaking, Mercury is the planet that rules communication, self-expression, and coordination. About three times a year it goes retrograde (think: moving backwards) and that can cause some chaos in technology, travel, and understanding each other clearly. It can also be a time when the past comes up—an old boyfriend reaches out, you bump into a former roommate.
But no need to be freaked out. Mercury Retro can cause some frustrations, BUT it’s just asking for stuff to be sorted out. REFRAME and OPTIMIZE! It’s a brilliant time for letting go, purging, tying up loose ends, and getting organized. Let go and line up. So…
I burned about 20 years of journals. Pages and pages of gut-red poetry and angst; cosmic gorgeousness and tender prayers; lists of wants, boyfriends (a loose term), and favourite perfumes.
With every page I fed into the fireplace, I smiled. Thank you. Goodbye. Hellohhh here & now.
REASONS FOR THE BIG BURN
I’m not really interested in the idea of leaving a legacy. If I die tomorrow and vanish from everyone’s memories, fine by me. I’m here for now.
I love deeply and I’m very ritualistic, but I’m not very nostalgic.
I love my present, I love my future, I love the vastness of my past. But I’ve found that investing in the future has way better return on investment.
I’ve come to the conclusion that reliving pain is actually not that conducive to my joy or creativity. Nope, just isn’t.
I’ve tried recapitulation and obsessive, neurotic over-attachment as a means to self-improvement, and funnily enough, it doesn’t seem to work. I can find plenty to be sad about in my current life—I don’t need to go digging up old material.
I love ritual and fire. Really, if you want to burn something DOWN, invite me. Funeral pyre, anyone? I’ll bring the matches.
For me, clutter-free living is up there with rainbows, front row seats, and answered prayers.
INSIGHTS FROM THE BURN
It helped me become even more glaringly aware of my insignificance on the planet. Thrilling. Generally, I’m happy with the work I put into the world. But realistically, not long after I die, my work will fade from view. Beyond, say, my great-grandchildren, if they ever come to be, I’m dust to dust.
Personal insignificance is provocative when you’re making your art. Remembering how insignificant you are helps you to be more daring, more honest, more… here.
Privacy is powerful energy to harness. One of my favourite things about being alive is the fleeting intimacy of events. Me. You. A moment only we shared. Gone. God, I love that compression of the sacred and the mundane. I like knowing that most everything will never happen again. So let it go.
I want my past to move through me like water. I want my ideal future to come to me as easily. Fluid yesterday, fluid tomorrow.
You get to make it all up anyway. History is malleable because memory is subjective.
Do not give your past the power to define your future.
There are archivists. There are burners. I’d never advise on journal-burning issues, it’s a very personal matter. To keep, torch, it’s your free will. But I can tell you this: Traveling lighter helps me shine brighter.