6 Unburned Pieces of The Mind
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Growing Some Funk of My Own

This year definitely will be remembered as a year of momentous events. My son turned 19 in February and is now living in Houston, Texas where he attends college full-time, and works part-time at the Hilton as a server. My daughter, who lives with my ex-wife, turned 18 in March and will be graduating high school June 9th.

To think that my two children are grown up and preparing to begin their own grand-adventures in life leaves me feeling an odd sense of melancholy. Just turning 51 I find myself to be in a real funk of sorts. Perhaps it is because of the realization of my new status as "empty-nester," or the incredibly long winter that has finally come to an end. But then maybe it is because of the realization that I am free to pack up and move to anywhere I would like to.

To do so would be nice in itself, almost an act of desperate liberation. But as I ponder traveling to points unknown, I start to wonder what I would do with all my things. Not that I have a lot of things, but certainly enough to make a free-spirited move turn into an encumbered act of frustration. There's the pine butcher block kitchen table with the mismatched maple chairs, the monolithic couch that has me looking through the yellow pages for listings under “chiropractor" after I've been sitting in it for more than a couple of hours, the queen size bed that is curiously bowed in the middle, TV's, stereos, books, papers and all kinds of assorted knick-knacks acquired throughout the years.

If I were to move, I think I would definitely pare down my "things" to what I actually need and value the most. Heck, even if I don't move, paring down might not be such a bad project in itself. I certainly don't need the 30 odd pairs of mismatched socks, the shirts and pants I no longer wear or would even dare to wear, and the boxes and boxes of books I'll never read again. Better to give those to the school library than to have them taking up all my closet space.

And so at least for the rest of this month, I will spring clean like I've never spring cleaned before. Maybe after doing so I might not feel as ambivalent about my life as I do now. Think I'll get started by culling through the books I have stored in the back bedroom closet. Earth Sciences. Hmmm? Now that's one book I won't be reading again.