Today in the Delight Diaries
Yesterday, I unpacked 2 boxes of professional books that have been in the lock up for 6 months – books related to my research and development work in South Africa from 2012 to 2019.
I wasn’t expecting this, but I was overcome with a sense of satisfaction and achievement when I made a pile of my Masters and PhD theses and the books and academic journals I have published in. I had to take delight in that.
But there was also a sense of awe and wonder that comes from having been detached from this type of work for 16 months. Thoughts like: “did I write those?”; “where did those words and ideas come from?”; “how on earth did I come up with such a sound argument?” and more flooded my head. It was like another life, and a different person who engaged with those academic ideas.
Decluttering brings a wave of hidden memories and related emotions to the surface.
Everything I touched yesterday (and over the last few weeks) has a memory attached to it. Each memory seems to be re-lived with an intensity in the moment that I never expect. Emotions rush through my body and demand to be acknowledged.
Acknowledging and lingering with each one brings exhaustion.
It would be better if I could let them simply flow in and out.
A glimmer of joy
I also found books loaded with sticky markers and was amazed what years of African sunshine have done to the markers. Those outside the pages have faded fully to white or transparent, whilst the bit inside the page is still vibrant and colourful. Seeing those contrasts and remembering the fierceness of the African sunshine brought me joyful memories too.