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Monday, August 2, 2010

And in your hands, what do you carry?

I recently watched the movie "Leap Year", and although it was quite cliche, all the love-story mumbo-jumbo, during a certain scene, it actually made me think about life. Amy Adam's character, Anna attempts to forge her way to Dublin, Ireland come Hell or high water to propose to her boyfriend of four years, but unexpectedly gets swept off of her feet by another man. Dechlin, a rustic, stubborn Irish man (quite handsome, if I do say so myself), knows how to push all of her buttons: the good, the bad, the ugly.

During one of their discussions, which turns into an argument of sorts, Dechlin asks her a question: "If your apartment were on fire, and you had sixty seconds to grab whatever you could, what would you take?"

Such a simple question, really. Anna avoids the question and tries to spin it around on him, but he refuses to answer.

After the movie was over (It was decent. Very cliche, chick-flicky. It's the kind of movie that makes women want the perfect man, unfortunately. But adorable none-the-less.), I asked myself, "What would I take?"

I'd say photographs, but why those when I have all of the memories in my head? It's amazing what has value, sentimental value, when you really think about it: My phone and laptop can be replaced, the clothes and shoes in my closet mean nothing...After I take away all the things that I think mean something in life and put it in perspective, the things that eat up most of my time in life really mean nothing. I shop for hours at times to find cheap clothes, although I find enjoyment in bargain hunting. The computer eats my time, whether it's facebook, or this blog (although this blog has more perks than facebook/twitter). And my phone...So many people, including myself, have come to feel naked without their phones. I feel lost without it...pathetic, really. So if I take out all of those things, what would I carry out of my house if it were on fire?

The inner child says a stuffed animal. A bird named Speedy, to be exact. God, I remember even the day I asked my grandpa to buy it for me. We were in K-mart when it used to be in Hanover, and I saw this bird, presumably a Toucan (he's quite colorful), and asked my grandfather if I could have him. My grandpa, very frugal, at first said no. Of course, being a little kid, I probably pouted a bit. To my surprise, he ended up buying it for me and I remember his words: "Now if I get this for you, do you promise to love him?"..."Of course, Grandpa".
And I did...I loved that bird so much. It's funny to think about. I had to sleep with him every night. I recall one night I couldn't find him, and tore the house apart until I discovered him. I loved him so much, his beady eyes fell out of his head, to which my mother re-affixed them with superglue; his nostrils, sewn on in a stitch of black thread, came undone, which resulted in Mom sewing new ones on.

My grandfather passed away a few days before my birthday. He was eighty-two. And that week, I dug through all of my old things to find Speedy. Although I don't sleep with him anymore, he's in my room, packed away. If my house were on fire, I'd dig through the box to find him. There's no doubt about it.

So, when you think about your life, if your house were in flames, what would you carry in your hands out of the house with you?


  1. Interesting thoughts. And a difficult question. I just finished moving, so I have a good idea as to what I held onto...but even that wouldn't help me decide on one thing. I have a number of hobbies that are a big part of me...kites, RC stuff, car stuff. But like you said, all of it is replaceable, which means that even though they mean something to me, they also don't mean anything. I do have a few family hand-me-down things, but they mean more to my parents than me. As of right now, I would have to say that as long as the cats got out, my choice would be my grandfather's bowlingball. I never got to bowl with him, and for that matter, I didn't spend much time with him after I moved to PA. That's something I regret. My mom kept saying I should visit my grandparents. It didn't happen much. I could say that I didn't have the time, or something like that, but in all honesty I don't know why I didn't drive the hour and visit. All well.
    I think I'll go bowling next week. I'll use his ball.


  2. I think that's a great idea, Joel :). Thanks for the input. It's much appreciated.

  3. The older I get the less I care about physical things. Photos are wonderful. I would want to save pictures of my children, parents, friends, pets. I would probably also want to save my paintings. Not because they are particularly valuable, but because each one is a part of me. When I look at them I think of where I was while I was painting. I sometimes remember the music I was listening to. They may not sell very well, but I hope I can pass them on to my children. I hope people will want them and they will have a part of me.

  4. I completely understand. Besides dear, old Speedy, I would have to grab the stack of poems/quotes/stories on my desk. Exactly what you said, it's not that I find them amazing...I would just like to think that sometime, someday, someone might like to have it, to know that I wrote it.
    Your paintings are beautiful by the way. I'm sorry I couldn't make it to the gallery you had in E-town (which from reading your blog, it seems you had run-ins with "the crazy one". She's quite a where you fall and smash your knee or face).