Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Paper Weight

I'm taking a break from sorting out all the documents that I have accumulated since I moved into my own room in 2001. The amount of clutter I have amassed would not surprise my friend Marc Laki who worked with me way back 1996 at the fundraising project for Bar Ops '96, "Beyond Limits". He said, "Ella, ikaw ang pinakamapapel na taong nakilala ko." I'm sure he meant that I was environmentally unfriendly because I had to write things down all the time, and not the negative meaning of "mapapel". After all, I mentioned earlier that ML, as we fondly called him then, is my friend. I wonder where he is right now.

Amazing how my mind could wander after encountering little bits of my past. That's why I'm still trying to clean up my room after two weeks. It takes me so long to decide which goes where. I like looking at receipts and remembering the restaurants from which I got them, the food that I ordered, and the people I ate with. There are certain piles that I dread having to sort through, simply because I am not interested in them at this point, and yet they occupy a huge space on my floor and I have to get them out of the way if I want to see my floor sometime soon. I am on vacation and a little bit in denial, maybe, but I'm putting off having to face the lawyer stuff. Basta.

Everyday though, I plow through my dumpsite and get little things done. I have a pile for things to be repaired, a pile for things to be donated to
He Cares, a pile for things that have to be filed properly, and a pile for things to be disposed of finally! Back when I was a student, I used to be able to do spring cleaning every summer vacation and semestral breaks. Ever since I started working, however, I have never had the luxury of taking my time to go through my possessions as thoroughly as I am doing now.

My motivation for getting this done once and for all is God's word for me during the NLTC last October:

Monday (10/18/2005): "The harvest is plentiful... Pray the Lord to send out laborers into his harvest"

Scripture: Luke 10:1-9 (RSV)

1 After this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to come. 2 And he said to them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. 3 Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. 4 Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and salute no one on the road. 5 Whatever house you enter, first say, `Peace be to this house!' 6 And if a son of peace is there, your peace shall rest upon him; but if not, it shall return to you. 7 And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages; do not go from house to house. 8 Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you; 9 heal the sick in it and say to them, `The kingdom of God has come near to you.'

As I am being sent, I have to "carry no purse, no bag, no sandals". There is no way for me to travel lightly if I have all this clutter burdening me. It's part of letting go of attachments - to purses, bags and sandals, literally - and to papers and all that they have signified for me in the past. I will be knocking at houses in different towns and places where my Lord Jesus is about to come.

It is not easy, this business of letting go and learning to pack light, but when my instructions come from a certainty in my mind and heart that this is what God wants me to do at this time, I know that I can get through this metamorphosis.

Have to go now. A crate full of memories from a chapter of my life is waiting to be inspected, sorted out, and distributed. I am taking my own sweet time.

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