Wendy and I have been purging our stuff these past few weeks. We emptied out the closets and got rid of old tools, baby gear, books and knickknacks. Wendy got rid of several times as much stuff as I did, which is reasonable since she owns several times as much stuff as I do. *cough* books *cough* A part of my purging was getting rid of old game materials. I managed my old character sheets and maps from roleplaying games without much fuss but with much nostalgia; as I tossed them out I saw names of my old characters and began to remember.
Oooh, Amon. I remember him, back from that bad campaign at Tall Steve's.
Ah, Noc! Man, I played that guy for years and through 4 different gaming systems. So many memories. In particular "Totally regular sword I could buy at the store."
Man, crazy ninja girl from Sthenno's Invention! campaign. I will never forget AOE knockback/instant kill given to a boss just so he could kill a player, with the player's consent!
Despite the flood of memories from good times past I ditched my useless gaming stuff. I kept the books of course in case I need them later but the rest was just clutter chock full of memories.
The real challenge came when I got to my Magic cards. The first part of it was easy since I just picked out all the cards I could sell for reasonable money and wandered down to the store. While it was hard to watch some of my darlings go for only a dime I faced up to it and got my cash. The difficult part was getting rid of the rest, especially when so many of them have such great memories and would be so well loved by somebody, if not me. I ended up keeping one boxful of cards for a draft set and throwing the rest in the recycling downstairs... and then going back later in the day and retrieving them because I realized I still know people who play Magic and tossing them out is much worse than giving them away. Over the next couple days I found out that I really don't know anyone who actually wants my cards (unless maybe someone reading this does and I am unaware of it!) but they are still on my shelf and remain untossed.
The truth of the matter is that although I can reconcile myself to selling my cards for real money I find it incredibly hard to just send them off for nothing. I spent so long building up my collection through winning tournaments, playing in drafts and trading that it feels wretched to simply toss it aside even though I know that getting back into Magic heavily is not something I am going to do. I don't need these cards and I probably won't even use them again but they are so full of the aura of well rewarded effort that parting with them simply to be parting with them is hard. A big part of me wants to be very zen and set aside the things I own because they also own me and a seemingly bigger part just wants to keep them around so that I can thumb through them and walk down memory lane now and again. The ghosts of competitions long past and decks now disassembled are wonderful and can be so easily accessed just by flipping through my cards.
I do want to get rid of my cards to make space but I have not yet summoned the strength needed to make it happen. Perhaps tomorrow I will be able to steel myself for the task at hand. Then again, perhaps not.