22 March 2010

Mission #27 - Burn incense 10 times


I finished burning my last stick on incense on March 20, 2010.

My brother, Daniel, came over on the weekend after one of my night shifts. He’s one of the few people I’ve shown my 101 Things in 1001 Days list to. He was reading it over and told me it was quite cool, and he questioned why I hadn’t gotten any further on it than I had since I have less than a year left and more than 50% yet to complete.

My answers: sleep deprivation leading to a lack of motivation. If I think about it though, I just can't make a lot of these things a priority. Work is my priority on a day to day basis.

After seeing my incense burning mission he asked if I had any incense left. I said I did, from high school. His response, “Well, let’s get started.”

We burned all 43 sticks of incense over two days.

When Daniel lit the first stick on fire I was hit with a strange wave of nostalgia (which I almost wrote as 'nausea'. I'm in the middle of studying for a Trauma Nursing Course and that symptom is repeated often...). It was really unnerving to have all the memories come back to me of all the reasons I had bought the incense in the first place, all the people I had bought it with, and all the plans we had made to burn the incense.

For a while there I was really into learning about Tarot, Ruins, Feng Shui, Indie music, meditation, etc etc. I was lucky enough to have worked in a library during high school so my thirst for this information was readily satisfied. Any chance I got to go into store that may have looked like it would have anything to do with the above I was there. Any road trip I made to Calgary with my friends at the time always included 17th Ave, and any presents my friends gave around this time seemed to involve incense.

This good vibe came to an abrupt end when high school finished and my entire circle of friends went elsewhere for University except for me. Contact with these friends dwindled quickly but I still hoped that we would meet up again during breaks to finish what we had started, to indulge in our high school fancies one last time. I kept hoping, but it never happened and now I've had the incense sticks for so long that they've lost their individual scents: Vanilla smells like Lavender, which smells like Sweet Grass, and that smells like who knows what else smelled good at the time. I've had the incense sticks for so long that they kind of lost their individual scents and when I was burning them smelled like that generic scent of "I'm covering up a smell that could get me kicked out of my apartment."

And while this was just a simple act of burning incense, it was good to finally do it. It was one less reminder of sorely disappointing time in my life and it was one less thing I had to carry around with me physically and mentally. It's strange how unburdening yourself of physical possessions can sometimes unburden you of mental baggage.

Anybody else unloaded some mental or physical baggage lately? What was it that you got rid of?

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