In the morning, I tear the day off my desk calendar, fold it in half, and drop it in a large bottle. I’ve been doing this for at least two years.
Today, I emptied all the days out, and I put them into a bag and wondered what to do with them.
I should just recycle them, I figured, throw them into the bin. Why gather more things?
Part of me said, No, don’t throw them away!
I can use them for an art project!
But I knew they could just gather dust on some shelf in the garage or in some closet, and is that what I really want to do with my days?
I would trash them, and as I walked outside to the recycle bin, I couldn’t help but think of all the trite metaphorical possibilities to what I was doing: “I have to throw out the past,” or something like, “I must put the past behind,” “close the door on the past.”
It’s not just writers who cannot help but to think of metaphor in images. We all do this. Perhaps it rains on an important day for us, a wedding, a job interview, and we think it’s symbolic of how that day will turn out. Maybe writers just do it more often, and often just for fun.
I didn’t decide to toss out the days for any symbolic purposes, I just did it because I saw myself doing it, and I thought it would be beautiful to look at.
And it was beautiful.
I saw all those days that I lived in the last two years just falling away into the bin like worries.
It was nice, and I suppose if I had to consider the metaphorical possibility of that image, I could come up with something cool, and maybe this detail will someday appear in my fiction and the meaning will depend on the character and the story.
That’s okay if it doesn’t ever appear.
I still got to pull days from a bottle.