So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
1 Cor. 13:7
As part of our massive cleaning effort — which so far has produced an impressive number of large, messy piles, but not a noticeable increase in cleanliness — we sorted through all our books. Here is a list of all 79 books, sorted by author, we hope to give away or sell. If you see one you gave us, don’t be hurt; we’re being ruthless. If you see one you’d like, email me. I would just LOVE to send it to you.
I have also spent hours and hours going through all the letters, notes, and cards that I received from 2001 onward. Unlike the book sorting, which felt satisfying and somewhat cathartic, sorting through personal letters proved emotionally painful. Most of the cards were short, simple cards of encouragement that were nice to receive but that I didn’t have any emotional attachment to. In some cases, though, I found notes and letters from people who were no longer my friends; usually we “broke up” in agonizingly slow, miserable relationship deaths that I still feel miserable to think of. Even looking at those letters, seeing my ex-friend’s name, felt like scraping open a scab. And then there were the notes from family and loved ones, notes I hadn’t looked at in years, but that I still treasured. I kept telling myself that in 8 years I hadn’t reread these notes, so there was no point in keeping them any longer. I ruthlessly tossed them into the recycle pile, but every toss felt like I was throwing away a little bit of my soul.
Later, though, I rethought my decision. What if one day, one of my kids wants to know something about me when I was this age? I know that seeing artifacts from Grandpa Sullivan’s life has been a way of knowing him better even after his death. I decided to re-sort my letters pile, and this time I kept some of the longer notes and letters, even from ex-friends, as a kind of cross-section of people I loved and things that were important for us to say to each other. Even though I didn’t save many more, I still feel better. Like I’ve managed to not to toss out who I was in my journey of maturing.
Also, this group looks interesting. Hopefully more on them later.