There’s no such thing as moving on.
All these things, they are carried with us.
We step forward. We move toward something else.
But we don’t move on.
What we have had, it’s carried with us to the next thing.
Like baggage we can’t lose.
Like the piece of gum in the bottom of your purse, that you leave there each time it comes up to the surface.
Like the potatoes in the cupboard or the mineral tubs in the barn or the collar from your first dog, still hanging on your review mirror.
We never move on. We just move forward.
The sock doesn’t get thrown away after it’s lost its mate. It stays, in the drawer, with all the other socks, waiting until its day when it will yet again be worn, with another mismatch.
What I would give, some days, to lose that baggage. To get off the plane and leave the airport, with no obligation to pick up the bags stored underneath.
Let them go round and round and round, until a stranger picks them up and looks for a belonging name.
What I would give, to have not written my name on those bags.
But we do. We do write our name, whether we mean to or not. We make alliances and share blood and tears and sweat and wine. And suddenly, our name is written on their luggage tag, never to be removed.
You can store the blood stained shirt in the drawer. You can wear the locket. You can put it all in a box and put it under the bed.
But someday, somewhere, it will haunt you.
It was a Saturday, and I took it off, and lay it on my nightstand. And I will wonder if something bad will happen that day.
But my black dress’s neckline does not work with this necklace. And it’s been five years. My neck is stained from the chain, the clasp has been fixed three times, and I waited in the store while they welded it all back together each time. I cannot, would not leave it there.
And later, the dress was off and my face washed and the darkness of yet another night, safe in my home, washed over me, I did not put it back on.
But I did not move on. It’s baggage now, that I can’t wear. Can’t touch. Can’t fathom throwing away. So it sits. On the dresser. Collecting dust and taking my attention each time I dress.
I pray over it. I pray that St. Christopher will keep me safe in my travels. That what happened to him won’t happen to me. Won’t happen to Adam. Won’t happen to Joey.
And I realize. I will never move on. It’s baggage I carry, though no longer around my neck. But the 14 karat gold pendant, I will forever bare its weight.