I am meant to be packing boxes for our upcoming move to New Zealand. It is taking me a very long time to pack boxes. Because before one can put something into a box and tape it up, one must first ask one’s self existentially puzzling questions: Do i need this? Is this important enough to me/us that I would go to all the trouble of packing it, storing it, putting it on a boat and paying MONEY to ship it to another country? Hmmm…most of my days (officially classified as ‘LANI IS PACKING BOXES’ days) are really being spent, sorting, dusting, discovering and reminiscing. And then struggling with the twinges of guilt when i chuck something in the growing pile of JUNK outside the store room door. Needless to say, the JUNK is a mountain outside the door while the boxes officially ready to go to NZ comprise a grand total of…three. Darren comes home from a tough day at work ( doing real work outside in the sun and in the dirt), looks at my meagre stack of boxes and asks in disbelief, “umm werent you supposed to be packing boxes today? What happened?”
I whine – its not easy you know…you should try going through the accumulation of years and years of history and memories. This is killing me! Decisions are being made every day about things like…
1. A blue hand knitted cardigan Jade’s grt aunt made for him when he was in NICU unit in Wellington.
2. Sketches my very first boyfriend in the entire world drew. Pencil drawings of a tree branch ( i think), flowers, my face, a samurai warrior. (Why do i still have these pictures 23 years later let’s all ask that question together….)
3. The award certificate Sade got in Yr 2 for “Improvement in Handwriting”. It has red balloons and a smiley face sticker on it.
4. The card Zion made me for mothers day 3 years ago. “Yu ar so putiful. I lov yu.”
5. A little calico bag my mother made to put pieces of wedding cake in for guests to take home when we got married. Its got a red rose printed on it with ‘Lani and Darren always’ on it. There’s no cake inside though.
6. The ribbon from the wrapping on a present a boy called Tony gave me for my birthday over 20 years ago. I think he gave me a blue purse. I dont have the purse, but i do have the ribbon.
7. Photos of Darren’s ex-girlfriends. When he was in high school. And at Tech in Australia. The very first girl he was ever in love with. AM RESISTING THE GUT IMPULSE TO CHUCK THEM ALL IN JUNK HEAP…LOL
8. A copy of Shakespeare’s ‘King Lear’. The very first Shakespeare play i ever read. Studied. Actually understood. Am never planning on reading it again BUT it is momentous. And maybe Sade might want to read it one day?
9. The pair of runnning shoes i wore in my first ever 10K fun run. Theyre nasty and withered but what misery and torment they have endured with me! How could i possibly throw them away…
10. Some childs baby tooth. I have no idea who’s. Or what i was thinking of by keeping it. Usually, the ‘tooth fairy’ opens the back door and hurls teeth over the fence. Into the bushes.
These are only a few of the items i have to go through. And i sit in amidst rubbish and dust and scuttling lizards ( that are pooping all over everything) and I remember stuff i had forgotten. And I smile. Laugh. Cringe. And then resolutely open the door and throw out another piece of my life….When i finally move to New Zealand, I shall be a lighter, freer woman. OR I shall be forlornly looking back over my shoulder (risking pillar of salt damnation like Lot’s wife) at the mountain of garbage that calls to me piteously…Lani don’t leave us!