Moving Away. .

Last night, in one of the groups I belong to, a group member posted an interesting question about moving: what do you take with you and what do you leave behind?  Do you take the daily items you need or the sentimental items that fill your life with color and joy? In many cases, you can’t do both.

It’s hard to move and harder still to choose what gets left behind to fade in memory, and what goes with you to define your new life.journal, open

Whenever I’ve had to move, I’ve had to pay for it myself. So many times, I’ve left things behind because I didn’t use them everyday and couldn’t afford to move them. Much of my life trickles to an end, marked only by the tread of a moving van.  I sometimes feel my past is in other people’s homes, given away when I had to move.

All the more reason to keep a journal. They don’t take up much room, they keep the memories in a small space, and they can cheer you or bring back a time you have left behind. Writing a journal isn’t hard, although it may seem like a giant problem.

And yes, truth in journaling: I’m teaching three journaling classes this summer in Alexandria, VA. The first is One-Take Journaling–writing a journal using one sentence day. It’s going to be held on June 10, 2007. If you are interested in this one or others, contact me at QuinnCreative [at] Yahoo [dot] com

4 thoughts on “Moving Away. .

  1. Pete–in your linked story it says that we may start using bacteria to store DNA and maybe even electronic information. I KNEW there was a reason my house isn’t spotless–it’s a giant memory!

    Keri–well, relatively speaking. I have a ton of journals, too, but compared to the stuff I need to get rid off, they are a speck in the univese. . .

    Helen–Breaking up is a completely shattering kind of moving. Thank goodness you seem to be handling it pretty well.

  2. I’ve learned I can fit every physical thing I need into a single suitcase — and any of that could be replaced by an hour in any WalMart.

    I constantly use a car, but I’m not 100% convinced I really need one.

    I use paper, but don’t keep anything that’s just on paper. I write using digital tools, and anything I want to keep I save as an ascii (text) file on a server — lately my gMail server, since they keep giving me more free storage. Some people have an interesting response when I tell them I don’t really have much of an idea where this stuff physically exists. Floppy disk sizes and formats, CD and magnetic media physical degradation, proprietary file formats, operating system changes — these all make digital information ephemeral if it’s not alive.

    To be alive, information has to be stored in an active, organized, “living” system. The internet, for example, is alive in this sense; humans are the “cells” that keep it that way. The idea that you can store anything physically and think it will just stay the way you stored it — well, that’s just wrong. Even if you have the wherewithal to build a pyramid, its constant degradation simply occurs over a longer term. But if you keep something alive, it lasts.

    Stories stay alive, and songs and myths and tales. Jokes. Turns of phrase; half our daily language comes right out of Shakespeare 4 centuries ago (although I recently learned “seize the moment” wasn’t intended to be a good thing).

    DNA is information too, and provides an interesting medium for long-term storage.

  3. Moving is soooo tumultuous, I just broke up with my boyfriend and we shared a 1 bed, it was comparable to a divorce trying to seperate things, and decide who gets what. In the end, i sold and threw out anything that didnt fit in my tiny car. I was watching this show on HGTV, Bought and Sold, its on Sundays @ 10pm, they had a lot of great moving out and in ideas for those who need some advice. You can look at their website too,,panel=videos

    Let me know if you need any more moving suggestions!

  4. I don’t know about that part where you say that journals don’t take up much space. 🙂 I have 70 paper journals so far; been writing regularly since 1995. They now take up three boxes. I can’t even imagine how many I will have by the time I move on from this life. 🙂 Interesting food for thought however. What DO you take when you can’t take everything?

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