My uncle and my aunt came for the weekend. There's been both little dancing, and little apartment work done. But they will take a lot stuff that remained unsold and my main mission here is vacating the apartment, so anything that goes out of the door is a positive development.

Yesterday my uncle was expressing frustration at having to let go of all the photos, "memories lost forever", he said. "You should be creating new memories, not dwelling on old ones, even if they are good", I countered. "Yeah perhaps, but to lose it all...".

I know why I don't have empathy for this. When I was 19, the river next to my house in Puebla flooded the entire neighborhood, and we lost everything, including family photos.

Trauma can either harden or soften you. It hardens you as preparation for future events, it softens you through understanding of other people's plights. I think a trauma well resolved will both harden and soften you, like a passion fruit which hardens its shell while its insides soften as it ripens.

Trauma which is not well resolved oftentimes makes people hypersensitive, and anything you say can trigger them. The opposite is also true, trauma which is not well resolved can harden you to the point where it causes the opposite of empathy: disdain.

Yeah I think that is what I experience: disdain for material memories. But, as I write this, I understand I have my own ways of coping with material and meaning loss. For example, I have practiced on my yoga mat so many times it has become imbued with magic, but my mat was too heavy to bring to Canada, so I gifted it to my sister. On my birthday, my mother and my sister sent me money to gift me a new mat. Meaning was transferred, and when I saw my old mat again it was just an old mat.

Memory and meaning are not in the object, but the object helps you access memory and meaning. If you can't get rid of an item because you are afraid of losing its metaphysical properties, just take a part of it, label it and put it in a drawer. Instead of keeping the first computer you bought, you can keep a key from the keyboard, and this will access memory and meaning.