I’ve managed a certain level of minimalism in my life. Just two outfits in my wardrobe. Four each of plates, bowls, knives, spoons, forks (and only that many because of the specific three friends I’d like to be able to feed at once). I’m slowly giving almost all my books away in favor of the library.
But now it’s time to go through the photos I’ve got stored across the internet. Thousands. Tens of thousands. Of my little baby bird. Of moments that may have been special at one time, but now I have to reconsider—still special? how special? for how long?
Why care at all except these tens of thousands of photos take up space in my thoughts. And the bad take up just as much space as the good, and the good are there in such vast numbers—I take more photos of a single moment than is reasonable, to get the face, the wind, the hair.
But in bringing crispness and cleaner lines to my physical space, I can feel these jagged unmanageable edges of my digital space, of this abundance of history.
I’m deep in the chaos of understanding how to sift through it all, how to bring meaning to it. But one early thought has started to bubble, and it’s something that’s maybe useful beyond when to throw away some piece of air that looks like a memory: Anything beautiful and lasting in my life is carried in my skin and bones and deep in the folds of my recollections. The baby King was, is written all over the child she is now (and the woman she’ll be is written there, too).
If it all blew up tomorrow—all the servers and wires and digital connections—that little baby is still in her and in me, and all our moments are wrapped into the cuddles that put her to sleep and wake her up. All the times we hold hands to cross the street. It’ll be in all the coffees and hot chocolates we share. The only air to concern myself with is the air in this breath, right here.