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Things We Leave Behind

Lesson in Growth #1

By Lynn JordanPublished 3 years ago 6 min read
Things We Leave Behind
Photo by Camille Villanueva on Unsplash

The motto for those born under the sign of Taurus is, "I Have."

For Taureans, possession is everything, whether things or people. As an older Bull, I have learned the hard way trying to possess people never works and is often more trouble than it's worth. Keeping too many things means more stuff to dust or pay to store.

When my first husband died, the volume of objects and paperwork we hoarded in twos and threes became an unending sea of flotsam and jetsam that I had to cry through to clear. After stuffing four U-Boxes to move to Georgia, I vowed never to do that again. I then moved to South Carolina for my current marriage, and I had whittled the personal cargo down to a more manageable size. It was probably still too much, but I was proud of evolving to the point where my worth wasn't about what I had, and having backups to backups was not convenient, but burdensome.

In 2020, I moved to Tennessee for work, and I barely took anything. In 2021, I was back in Georgia to live with my father.

My Dad did not need my avalanche of crap cluttering up his house. I could not afford to pay for storage as Tennessee financially broke me. My mind reeled. I had no real job, no money, and an old car.

The Universe was not giving me much of a choice. I had to find a way to "let that shit go."

I traveled back to South Carolina with my small SUV to collect what was left of my things. I could have brought a moving van, a trailer, or even a friend or two, but I did not. How was I going to get all of my stuff outta there?

I shrugged and said to myself, "I'll take what I can." At that moment, I had realized there were a few things I could not live without.

My grandmother's Bible. Nana had a black leather(ette?) Bible that zipped shut. Beige pages, red edges, and it meant a lot to her. When she passed away May 5, 1995, my mother asked what of Nana's I wanted, and I said - without hesitation -"I want nothing but her Bible."

Growing up, I went to religious schools, and when I would struggle with their teachings, I would bring my questions home to Nana. I eventually changed my belief system, but it did not change the respect I had for her spiritual foundation even though it no longer spoke to me. She loved the 23rd Psalm, and no matter where I have lived - even right now - that Bible sits on a stand opened to it. Those pages are yellowed, edges nibbled by an errant mouse, the spine trained to splay out right there. That is my connection to her until we meet again on the other side.

Photo by R. Greenidge/Lynn Jordan, all rights reserved; do not use without permission.

My first "real" bass - A Peavey Dyna Bass. The bass I learned on was not my own; it belonged to my Uncle. Even though he told me never to touch his instruments when he wasn't around, I would sneak in and play it. The first bass I bought with my own money was a Hondo, a cheap, 14-pound p-bass knockoff with a baseball bat for a neck and a poor string setup. It was a piece of crap, but it made me a good player because playing anything on it was a chore. When I decided to become a gigging musician, I needed something much better. My first husband (then just my boyfriend) took me down to 48th Street in New York City, and I fell in love with a beautiful 4-string Peavey Dyna Bass. Black cherry in color, neck-through with an ebony fingerboard, mother-of-pearl inlays. It was $649. I could not afford it, and he could not afford to buy it for me.

I honestly do not remember if it was for my birthday or Christmas, but my family chipped in and bought it for me. The memory of holding it for the first time is making my eyes well up now. That bass graced many a stage across the USA and garnered its share of battle scars. I retired it after Nana passed, and I moved to a 5-string. I have easily parted with other instruments when I needed money, but that bass will be with me until I leave this earth.

My large Carnelian heart. My current husband bought it for me during a street fair. It is weighty, barely fits in hand, and has varying shades of orange and red. It hums with quiet confidence and comforts me as I sleep. I will hold it and feel its energy when I am restless, and I have often drifted off to sleep with it still in my hand. I spent 2020 alone, broke, working for a company that was imploding during the Coronavirus pandemic in a U.S. state I never lived in before. I spent many a night laying in bed with the stone sitting over my heart. I will always keep it close as it helped keep me grounded and sane.

Photo By Lynn Jordan, all rights reserved, do not use without permission.

My picture albums. A long time ago I worked in a photo album factory, and they allowed employees to take rejects or purchase at a steep discount. The first one has old pictures of my first band, the one I have made the bulk of my achievements with. It is so awesome to revisit those early days, the friends, the old clubs and awful dives we cut our teeth on. The second contained the adventures of me and the man who would become my first husband. We dated and then were engaged for about five years, so we had a lot of pictures. The third was our wedding album, which is precious to me because it contains pictures of our families, many of whom are no longer with us, including him. He passed away in 2011.

My Sasha Dolls. I believe I was around ten years old (maybe younger) when my Mom bought me my first Sasha Doll, a small brown-ish blond baby boy. The dolls were created by Sasha Morgenthaler, a Swiss artist and doll maker, who wanted to create dolls that were a racial mix of children post-WWII. They were not common dolls, and they weren't cheap. Over the next few years, she gave me four more of these beautiful and rare works of doll art, one of which was a special edition with natural human hair. The intention was for me to pass them down to my daughter, but I am childless. I'm unsure where they will end up after I die, but as long as I live, they will be with me.

There are a couple of other random things I would grab if I had to run. The rest? Some of it was donated, some of it was sold. I was asked about what I wanted to do with the stuff that remained, and I replied, without any remorse, “I don’t care if you set it on fire.”

Now, I no longer feel tethered to possessions. Now, all the things that matter the most to me fit in the back of my car, allowing room for the future, not the past.

Photo by <a href="">Sage Friedman</a> on <a href="">Unsplash</a>


About the Creator

Lynn Jordan

Gen X writer of published music reviews now putting my fiction, non-fiction & the occasional poem out there. Every piece I write, regardless of genre, is a challenge accepted, and crafted with care and love. Sit a spell & enjoy!

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