Tuesday, December 11, 2012

November Mission: Burning Shtuff


So for our November mission, we burned stuff. Yep, we stoked the bonfire, got the flames licking the tree leaves above us, sat with beer and cigars, and burned crap we didn't need anymore. The goal was to throw in objects that had been lying around gathering dust, and yet needed to tell its story. So, we unloaded any sentiment associated with the object before we burned it to hell. The idea here, children, is that we all have things we're holding on to that have some memory or importance embedded in it which end up taking up space and stealing our oxygen. More the former than the latter, but the point is, if we don't share our memories and stories and invest in our collective memory banks, then really our memories remain buried in boxes and attics and closets full of other forgotten parts of our lives. Bring those babies out and release their souls while cremating the bodies that imprison them! Keep your memories, burn your stuff. You get it.

So we committed a few belongings to the ashes and shared a word or two. Among the possessions I relinquished:

1. A book that a friend gave me that served its purpose and is no longer useful apart from the association with that person.
2. A New Scientist magazine from days gone by when I was speed-learning some science to make up for lost time with my head buried in the Bible
3. Cards from a game a bought in college which I was no longer interested in anymore
4. A plastic-wrapped memorization card from my UPS days
5. Guitar pick
6. Magic trick cards
7. A shirt
8. A beer bottle we finished while burning stuff.

A moment of silence in honor of burning trash please. They're going to a better place. Today's mud is tomorrow's Bud.


As we approached the end of the year, this mission served as a nice way to relax, sit around a warm fire, and share some stories. It was one of our least active missions, but sometimes you don't have to go far to avoid rotting.The idea was pretty simple... find some items that we'd been holding onto for some reason, but maybe we forgot what that reason was, or maybe the reason wasn't so important after all. I didn't really have anything in mind when we planned this mission, but I was able to find a few things that fit our description. Here's what I brought to burn:
  1. A board game from the TV show "24". Awful, awful game. I really like games, and I really like 24, but this game I really didn't like. I chose to burn it as a reminder that it's okay to get rid of something you'll never use, even if you're supposed to like it.
  2. A couple of magazines I bought as a younger man, Sex sells, and in this case I guess that's what I was trying to buy. Easy to burn these when you realize you've been duped into a useless purchase.
  3. An action figure that I bought as an adult. We all try to recapture our childhood from time to time. The important part here is the assumption that you've moved on from your childhood before you try and recapture it. 
  4. T-shirt from when I worked at UPS. I have some fond memories of UPS; I worked there for 8 years. Part of this mission was to revisit those memories, but then disposing of the item(s) that we were holding onto to remember. The memories are still there, but I am free of one more raggedy shirt
I liked sharing the meaning behind each item, while drinking a beer and just chilling. This feels like something that should be done each year.

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