Why am I emotionally attached to all this junk? There’s a painted Japanese vase that was broken and repaired, the cracks still plainly visible. A tackily painted Asian tin container. A cast iron statue of an Egyptian cat covered in a sickly green powder that rubs off on your hands. Glittery and garish, 2012 New Year’s glasses. A plastic wind-up angel that moves her wings and glows in the dark. A new age sun, moon and stars tealight candle holder. A pair of long wooden sticks that hold small, thin candles. A round container that houses a collection of shells, stones and driftwood collected from unknown locations.

All of this once meant something to me, I’m sure of it. Some items were cherished gifts from friends and family. But now? It all feels like tacky kitsch. And yet, I hold and observe each useless dust collector, wondering if I would miss it.

It can’t be the item itself. Each one is of dubious value, in the scheme of things, and I’m not even that fond of them now. However, I do feel an undefinable sadness as I take each one off the shelf of my fireplace mantle, adding it to the “sell” pile for the planned Connecticut estate sale.

There are other things, too. Like handmade Christmas ornaments from a casual acquaintance, with glitter and plastic fake jewels that look chintzy in the late afternoon light. A gaudy gold painted clam shell. Once magical, they’re now curious, vaguely unpleasant oddities.

Clearly, I’ve been through a major shift of consciousness in recent years, despite everything feeling horribly stagnant. These things haven’t changed, no, but I have.

I’ve outgrown my belongings, outgrown my life here, and it is long past time to move on — if not physically, then at least mentally, emotionally and spiritually. But such reluctance! Does the inmate hesitate when the prison door is opened to his freedom? Of course not! And yet, here I am with my broken, torn and tattered past, unable to let go.

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