Monday, October 02, 2006

Material Mementos

I have really been struggling with the issue of dividing the art collection. It seems ridiculous to quibble over such things right now, although it is pretty tame quibbling. Both of us seem willing to walk away from the issue and let the other have it. But the underlying issues are worth exploring.

On one hand, I am (again) hurt that he has tried harder to hold onto the collection than to me and our relationship. He isn't trying that hard for the art collection, but there is more effort directed toward salvaging that than us (although I realize we cannot be salvaged). On that same hand, I am just starting to get control of these profound feelings of loss, sadness and rage and may be making decisions from the wrong state of mind. To me, most of the pieces in the collection tell a story -- about us, where we were at the time, the cirucmstances of acquiring it, where it would fit in with our home, where it might be displayed in a future home, etc. To me, they are mementos of our life together, which has died a premature death. Am I holding onto those mementos because they are reminders of our now non-existent life together? That can't be healthy.

On the other hand, I am not responsible for this collection. I didn't pick out a single piece as far as I can remember -- most of them just appeared because B loved them and wanted them. He collected them, not me. Today he said something like "well, of course I like them or I wouldn't have collected them." In the next breath, he said "but, they are just material objects and not worth fighting over -- you can have them."

They aren't just material objects to me, they are mementos of the life we had together. As I walked my dog tonight, I thought a lot about that. Almost everything in my home is a memento of our life together because B picked most of it out. I have already been mentally redecorating to give this place my personal touches and change it so that it isn't a daily reminder of a life that no longer exists. Is the artwork so different? I don't think so -- just more personal, and probably all the more reason to give it to the person to whom it belongs. It once belonged to us, but there is no more us. The artwork is, to some extent, the story of us, but I think that is just how I regard it. I don't think he thinks of it in that way, but rather loves each piece for the reasons that he collected it.

I think I have decided to keep a few key pieces that hold special meaning to me and let go of the "story of us." I don't know that I am ready to do it, but think I probably need to be. No one moves forward and gets on with their life when they are holding onto relics from the past. I so desperately want peace and happiness and contentment and know that the only way to get there is to move on and accept what is lost.

He can have the material objects. I will desperately miss their beauty and all that they remind me about a happier, more hopeful time. But they don't belong to me anymore and probably never did.

1 comment:

Talix said...

No one moves forward and gets on with their life when they are holding onto relics from the past.

Where were you all the years ago when I needed to hear that? Over and over again and in fact, thank you, 'cause I can still use it now.