moment of joy

Sifting through yet another box of “junk” from storage today, I stumbled upon a lost treasure. A number of years ago, I visited Iraq and presented teaching strategies in a workshop for Kurdish university professors. Our trip was so short that the only shopping I did was for camera batteries. My counterpart from the English department at the University of Dohuk, however, exchanged a 1 dirham coin for a U.S. silver dollar that I had with me. While I’ve held on to a 250 Dinar bill with Saddam’s picture on it for all these years, I haven’t seen the coin since 2004. I was convinced it was lost during a move.

Today I found a pen that was given to me as a token of appreciation at the workshop. My coin was nestled in the bottom of the giftbox. A moment of real joy swept over me when the coin dropped into my hand. It almost gives me hope that my grandfather’s trick coin is not truly lost. Incidentally, I discovered another “tiniest penny” in a jewelry box last week. Two of those (when in my memory only one existed), but still no trick penny. How is it my moments of joy at finding are so quickly shadowed by loss and absence?

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One response to “moment of joy

  1. I have an almost pathological need not to lose things- and on the extremely rare occasions that I have I lament years -even 30 years later. I cannot bear to have things lost. I traced my natural mother 20 years ago-and she was a hoarder- I think there is genectic element to hoarding- as I had never met her-and knew little of her until I was 20. My son despairs re-my hoarding- and has himself very little in the way of possesions- through his choice. I have a number of life limiting illnesses – genectic in origin – and I dread my poor son having to deal with my home after I bid farewell to this mortal coil- it really upsets me that I am leaving all this ‘stuff’ for him to deal with. I pride my hoarding for being good quality stuff-art, textiles, expensive jewellery – but it is the emotions attached to these items that I cannot let go off. I know rationally that none of my items have any real value to may people-but to me they have become extremely valuable. I get very upset that I hoard and acquire all the time -as I know it is a problem and I want to find the help I need to stop.

    Their is a strange beauty to hoarding when people see my objects and ask me of their history – I note that I become very animated and can remember every detail of a day just by looking at the item.

    I am sure my hoarding does come from loss-and not being l to show emotion when I was young as my parents attiude was their gone, its dead…get on with it-tears and distress were viewed as a weakness.

    I think also that my hoarding is a sign of fear of open space- I vividly remember clearing a space for my son to recive a large fish tank for his birthday many years ago now-it was being delivered on a Saturday morning ‘the space’ screamed at me with minutes – it disturbed me-and I filled it with a large chair and a plant- even though I knew I would have to move it later. I do get anxious in open areas, and I get anxious in airports, stations- I feel very exposed – hoarding hides you..literally

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