Wednesday, April 29, 2009

tupperware love.

if you have a good container that's just the right size and you seal it air-tight, the contents will remain fresh indefinitely. even if you hide the box in the darkest corner of the basement. and when you take the lid off, even after say, two years, there it all is.

after a break-up, we often stuff our feelings - anger, questions, condemnations, sadness, lament, desire, affection and love - into boxes. little compartments that get tucked away into the deepest corners of our hearts and minds.we have to; it's a matter of survival. heartbreak can be really inconvenient when there is work to be done and life to be lived.

a couple of years ago i went through a difficult break-up with a man i loved. we had been special, close friends and the sadness i felt at the loss of him was great. the heartbreak was deep and wide, and though it took some time, i eventually managed to wrestle it all into a surprisingly small box. it didn't take up too much space, but the lid didn't fit so great and it leaked every once in a while. still, it allowed me to move on. thank goodness for 'the box'.

last night i had dinner with him. it wasn't the first time i'd seen him. we move in the same social circles, so we actually run into one another quite a bit. but this was the first time in two years that we spent any time alone together. it was great to see him. we were a bit nervous at first, but it quickly got comfortable, easy and warm. old friends catching up and chatting about life.
the box was with me, but was obscured by the conversation, the sights and sounds of the restaurant and by our genuine desire to just have a nice time.
but the more time that passed, and the more wine poured by our pink satin-clad waitress, the box came into sharper and sharper focus.

eventually i took the lid off. i examined the contents a bit and began to talk. he was receptive - more like accepting, really. he listened to what i had to say and for the first time, i felt like he truly heard me. his softness surprised and moved me and i felt grateful. anyway, not to mix metaphors, but at the end of the night i felt like we crossed a bridge and turned a page. we said goodnight with warmth, peace and genuine affection.

when i got home i sat in my garden to wait for all the old feelings to pass through me. i thought about the now-empty box in front of me and everything i had hidden away in there. it seems obvious now, but i couldn't quite believe that all that stuff was still there, sealed fresh inside. i sat across from this guy and i took the lid off and there it all was. of course.
we all have baggage (or tupperware) from the past that we carry around with us. some of it is heavy and we can lug it around for years without ever bothering (or having the courage) to look inside. it's important to purge every so often so that we can make room for newer, less weighty things. though it wasn't the heaviest load i've carried in my life, that little tupperware that i opened up last night had made quite an impact on me, and being able to air it out allowed me to understand a little better what that impact was. it gave me a knowledge of myself that i suspect will help me to pack a little bit lighter from now on.


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