Attachments & letting go : Part 1

I haven’t felt inspired to write for the past month. There have been too many things to think about, make decisions about, worry about (pointless though that may be), all the while contending with ongoing health problems. At the same time, I knew that probably the best medicine was engaging in creative projects … writing, taking photographs, making books. None of this seemed possible, as I felt constantly tired.

All areas of my life need decluttering. I decided to make a start by decluttering my computer. This led me to look back through ancient files and I found a folder titled  ‘Carmel’s art and writings’. Some of these dated back ten years. I’m not a person who can just throw everything out without looking at it, and I’m glad of that because some of this work is possibly the best I’ve ever done. I was surprised at the quality and the insights … if I had acted on these, my life might have taken a different (and better) path. But maybe not.

I realised that much of the work had never seen the light of day (outside CAN Company meetings) and an intuitive voice told me “now is the time”.

One year, The CAN Company chose  ‘Attachments’  as its theme. My explorations on the subject led me to ruminate on trees …

“A tree is in a constant state of change … and movement. Before I spent time musing about the matter, I had consciously thought only about a tree’s habit of letting go of leaves, and I’d considered how some leaves become more beautiful after they fall from the tree (a fascinating metaphor to follow). Then I thought of the way a tree drops small twigs and the occasional branch on a continuous basis, always replacing them with others. Further consideration told me that even the tree’s roots are constantly dying and others taking their place … not the main root, maybe, but the subsidiary ones (another metaphor worth following).

“This is just the lesson I need to learn. I accumulate too much. My house is full of books I’ll never read, fabrics I’ll never sew, art materials, recipes, etc. I’ll never use, decades-worth of letters I’ll never look at again, unusual objects of all kinds which ‘might come in handy one of these days’… yeah, sure, provided I remember I’ve got the stuff, and can find it when needed. Each time I take on something new, I should let something else go. Preferably, I should take the initiative in letting go of what no longer nurtures me (or the reverse), IN ORDER to make way for new things … like the tree.”


This is not, strictly speaking, a ‘tree’ but a wisteria vine which grew beside the verandah at our house in Brisbane. It was a constant source of delight to me—one of the few things in our garden that changed with the seasons. 
(To be continued)