The day after Boxing day, I started my annual ritual of clearing the clutter for the year, only that it went beyond the year’s collection. First it was the cell phone messages, some numbers I have since lost contact with the owners and then the emails, email addresses, websites and recycle bin on the desktop. Perhaps it was some kind of obsessions, I just love to clear and empty all that seem to have passed on. Call it the spirit of yesterday, some would accumulate and collect such cherishable moments and endearing memories, but I would rather discard them totally. Yet sometimes, they remain despite its physical disappearance. I started tearing pictures printed out when the digital equipment were not as advanced and it proves less painful as I had imagined it to be, then I laid my hands on the letters and notes, some had even been packed into boxes and were stored away for years. Why the urgency to empty all that were carefully kept initially? I’ve asked that question but couldn’t really answer it properly. I suppose I could have kept them with the space available in the house, but my mind and heart were most reluctant. I reckon that people and things that remain to be in sight and held dearly in my heart will always be there, I need no proof or further verification or confirmation. As such, I see no need to keep what was already in the past since I am sure we would have the present and future to hold on to. As for others that have long been out of sight and/or have kept me out of their mind, wouldn’t it be good for me to let them go and free myself from the reins of the past? Still, what is the past? Harold Pinter hit the nail on the head when he said (and I quote), “the past is what you remember, imagine you remember, convince yourself you remember or pretend you remember… It is never there when you try to go back, it exists, but only in memory. To pretend otherwise is to invite a mess.” How much more true can you confront “the past”? So out go the boxes of letters and past emotions turned stale? Some can be dated back to about a decade ago. And then the apparel and accessories and ornaments that were purchased or given were also let go of. Then I was again reminded that I do not need the desires for such extras in life, in fact as I was throwing them away, the painless act was quite an irony to the pain I had once suffered from wanting them so badly. And the many long years that had gone by once seemed so unbearable only went in a flash, and suddenly, all were flushed out and flushed down to nothingness. Not sure if the cynic in me is acting up again, but the chapter on Ecclesiastes in the Bible came to mind the moment all emptying was completed and I feel light again.