On this rounded earth, in the United States, in the great state of Texas, in the suburban city of Farmersville, inside an innocuous brick house, within my small bedroom, beside and half beneathe my lumpy bed, contained in a shoebox, lies a portion of my history. Held inside that shoebox are many memories – some pleasent, some otherwise, but all a part of who I am. They are not the most enjoyable moments of my past, nor are they the moments I would casually share in watercooler conversation. They are the deep pains, the open wounds, the dark secrets, the little lies, the guilty pleasures, and the remorseful regrets. Inside are little mementos of my mistakes and misgivings.
I am of the inclination that everyone has a shoebox of sorts. For some it more closely resembles a corner closet, a fireproof lockbox, an under-the-mattress magazine, a little black diary, a blood-stained razor blade, a tear-soaked pillow, or just an emotional wall past which no one shall ever come. Regardless of shape and form, everyone has a shoebox. We all have little secrets hidden beside and half-beneathe the proverbial bed. It’s a portion of our past that we refuse to make peace with because we revere it as our shadowy inspiration or our shady, invisible retreat. The times when the world seems to bear down on us with all her might, we run to the shoebox and wrap ourselves in the dusty blankets we keep inside, somehow hoping that we can keep warm through the blustery nights.
But it’s like a drug. Retreat gives way to slavery; blankets become shackles; the 8×12 shoebox takes precedence; reality is reduced to no more than a box in the corner of our minds, hardly worth tending to.
As a recovering shoebox resident, I’m as suceptible as anyone else to the lure of safety and consistency that the shoebox pretends to offer. But having been there and made it back again, I have a toast to make:
May you and I both make the time to burn our shoeboxes.
“and hope that the smoke of the sins of my youth will sail to the base of the throne of a King…Let them all find their redemption down deep in Your eyes.” – Waterdeep