little pieces

"Even when it stands vacant, the past is never empty."

This is a line from Doig's "The Whistling Season".  

We live 5 miles from the first home we shared as a newly married couple. The house, which was old then, is pretty dilapidated now. But it was ours, and I can still walk through every inch of it in my mind. I drive past it every now and then as I head into Provo, and I point it out over and over again to my kids.  

Do you ever fell like you leave ghosts behind?  Like places you have spent a lot of time in have part of you?  I mean almost literally.  It's one of the things I get a little sappy about.  Because really, if you leave parts of you behind, are you less when you move on to the next place?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Unknown | April 1, 2011 at 11:36 PM

I think we would be less, if we didn't pick up other things along the way. When my husband took the job he has now, we both received pretty clear direction as to how the next many years would go. Geography didn't matter, but wherever we were, we were expected to live the gospel, learn something, leave something, and be truly sad when it was time to move on. So far, so good.

LisAway | April 2, 2011 at 7:06 AM

I don't think we're less, maybe just more spread out? Bigger, in that sense? I don't know, but yesterday I want walking across the street where I rarely go anymore but used to walk every day when Ev and Dave were tiny and I totally felt my own ghost there. It was so strange that a place that I existed so strongly is someplace that I have almost never been with my littlest children, who are also part of me.

Kazzy | April 2, 2011 at 7:18 AM

I think the idea of giving something away (like love, or pieces of yourself) so that you become more is fascinating. You two describe it so well.

Connie | April 2, 2011 at 9:05 AM

I drove past the house I lived in for over 19 years with my parents and siblings. I could actually feel my past coming back to me. I felt empty and yet whole, because I've picked up so much along the way. (Kind of like walking into the TK room)

Kristina P. | April 2, 2011 at 9:06 AM

I will be very sad when we leave our condo. We've lived here most of our marriage. But I am also excited about new opportunities.

Kim | April 2, 2011 at 9:32 AM

I love looking to the past because that is what has helped shape me. I look to the apartment or house as my stop along the journey and feel some sort of connection is still there.

But those places and people who have come and gone have somehow left and mark in my life that I will visit occasionally just to help keep me grounded and remind me that they were somehow instruments in the Lords hand.

I am one that loves looking back, but I also dream about the future and love watching as it unfolds.

Great thoughts today. Love it!

Charlotte | April 2, 2011 at 12:42 PM

I think often about the places I've left behind. I did leave a little of myself there, but I also took a piece of it with me.

Erin | April 2, 2011 at 1:23 PM

I had a (literal) place that created terror in me for years. Then I moved into that very place and had to face that terror. Thankfully, the ghost of the past and the current person were able to combine and make peace.

I love this post.

MaggieJo | April 2, 2011 at 5:24 PM

A white house on a dirt road in a small town in Colorado will always hold a piece of my heart. Sometimes I feel less without it, other times I know I couldn't be me if it didn't stay there.

lesa | April 2, 2011 at 5:50 PM

I often think of a little gray 'doll' house (that's what my daughter called it) that we lived in for seven years. Some of our hardest times were in that house. When we moved, I left a little part of my heart there. I never thought I'd fill in the gap, but leaving a little gave me space to make room for so many good things here.

Jenny Lynn | April 2, 2011 at 7:20 PM

Totally. There is a home down on main street where we live that we lived in 17 years ago. I am always refreshing my oldest children about playing in the yard. There is a beauty salon that is living it now.

wendy | April 2, 2011 at 7:43 PM

I am kinda sappy like that too. I do believe we leave something...something, of ourselves everywhere we go and with all of the things we experience.
hopefully, just good, happy little ghosts/soul parts.

and if we keep leaving little parts of us come that doesn't constitute a good weight loss program?

Ca88andra | April 2, 2011 at 8:25 PM

Wow! I didn't think anyone else would feel that way. I do feel like bits of me have been left in the places that were special to me. But I don't believe we are then less, I think we are infinite and have more than enough to spread around.

Stacy | April 2, 2011 at 9:17 PM

Timely post for us as we're looking at moving within the next few weeks. I never thought I would miss the tiny townhome we're in now. With two bedrooms and four kids, the math doesn't quite work out. But it turns out, I might be a little sad. My son was born upstairs in my bedroom, and we've been happy here. So I'll leave a piece of myself behind, for sure. But I won't miss stepping on three little people while I'm cooking in the kitchen!

Barbaloot | April 2, 2011 at 10:59 PM

I definitely feel like we can leave parts of ourselves behind. I can't think of Nauvoo without remembering my semester there and feeling a bit melancholy that that phase of my life is gone. Then again, I think I brought SO much more back with me.

Libby | April 3, 2011 at 12:20 AM

Oh so true and this is where my sappiness (is that a word?) also lies. Just this morning I was wandering through my childhood home in my minds eye. It's over 800km from here in a remote outback town that I have no reason to visit anymore but I believe a small part of me still resides there.

Melanie Jacobson | April 3, 2011 at 10:15 AM

What DeNae said. It always balances unless we choose not to move on. Then we just lose the pieces and they stay lost.

Rachel Cotterill | April 3, 2011 at 3:10 PM

I love to go back and see how places are getting on without me :)

Kazzy | April 3, 2011 at 9:03 PM

I love it, Rachel. :)

Brianne | April 4, 2011 at 1:04 PM

I like moving and rearranging... My husband? Not so much. I prefer to think of where I live as something that grows with me. Shared rooms, to small apartment to larger apartment, etc.
But as much as I miss some of the places I've lived... things i learned there come with me. Things I loved, I recreate in my next home. And part of me will always live wherever I learned about that part of me....

Lara Neves | April 4, 2011 at 1:53 PM

It's actually really hard for me to go back to a place because it's never the same as how I left it. When my brother got married a couple years ago in Mesa, we drove our kids out to the house we lived in for our Mesa years. And it just wasn't the same.

Somebody else lived there, it wasn't ours anymore. And while so much of the me I am was made in that house, I realize that I brought it with me.

Kimberly Vanderhorst | April 4, 2011 at 4:29 PM

We walk hand in hand with our own ghosts sometimes. It seems that way, at least.

I love the comments this post is provoking. Beautiful, bittersweet, and thought-provoking.

Welcome to the Garden of Egan | April 4, 2011 at 7:16 PM

Yes and instead of being less.........aren't we more? Fulfilled?

Mrs4444 | April 4, 2011 at 8:40 PM

Less, maybe, but also better in some cases.

This is a little off-topic, but I recently learned that if you think of your to-do list while "in" a familiar place (like your childhood home) and if you "put" your to-do items in that place, you'll remember them better later. So, I put my doctor sitting at our old kitchen table (because I can never remember her name--long story). Guess what? It WORKS!

Just checking to you....

Mrs4444 | April 4, 2011 at 8:41 PM

p.s. Loved your "the Lucky One!" It's one of my favorites :)

Heidi | April 11, 2011 at 6:43 PM

So profound. I love to point out our old homes to our kids when we are in the right neighborhoods but they don't seem to care. What gets me is how a place that was HOME can become so shell-like, even to me. It's like a best friend you got in a fight with and haven't seen in years and then, bam, there she is-a stranger.

Ken Craig | April 12, 2011 at 9:36 AM

Sister Kazzy,
Whenever I am in California, I drive by the homes I grew up in. And because so many memories are in each one, I still feel this ownership, somehow. Kind of juvenile-like. As if I could knock on the door and demand to see "my" bedroom. And if they got real hostile I would pull the ol' "I was here first, get out" routine.