Stains Don't Always Come Out in The Wash

Kasia Derwinska

Kasia Derwinska

Summer Cleaning - memories last only as long as we want to keep them. 

There were two reasons I was drawn to this image. The first was the obvious; I felt a connection to the picture itself. The second was more of a kick in the solar plexus from the cosmos, or whoever else is in charge of those random synchronistic events which leave you wondering what the fuck you did to be taunted so mercilessly by life itself. Kasia Derwinska will often post a video in the comment underneath the image; underneath this particular image was a clip to the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. No doubt chosen for its subject matter of erasing memory. Although, for me, it just made it all the more personal, but I'll leave that til later.

She's right of course, Kasia, I mean; memories last only as long as we want to keep them. I've long-since been a fan of not-even-going-there where memories are concerned. It's rare for me to think backwards at all, even to the good times. I turned letting go of memory into an art form; it was easy when you knew how. The best way forward was always to disconnect as much as humanly possible. No contact. No holding onto objects of symbolic importance. Absolutely no reminiscing; only thoughts of what I hated, what I didn't like, and why I should be glad to be free. Sometimes it would be stupidly easy; if I'd been hurt in any way I'd go through my ritualistic cleansing with vigour. Cutting ties when I felt trapped, soulfully imprisoned, or simply sensing a malignant agenda was a fairly common occurrence and generally done out of a perceived necessity to protect my psychic space. In fact, I'd often be more concerned about vibes and emotional well-being than I ever was about physical reality. If I felt it, it had to be true...and no, I rarely stopped to think of the details. I didn't care. I'd found a way to alleviate internal suffering and the minute I felt emotional discomfort because of another person I did my cleansing and they were gone...along with whatever internal trauma I was experiencing. I'd realised the sooner I got them out of my head, the sooner I was back to normal. Emotional clearing for me was always easy, still is, but my head - that fucker is like Alcatraz...the thoughts might get in but they can rarely escape. The problem is, thought, so often, provokes emotion...    

There's an old idiom which was thrown around like confetti in the place I was brought up - Don't worry. It'll all come out in the wash. It was given as a message of hope; whatever the insurmountable problem was, it would be alright in the end. Those old women were wise; it always did turn out okay. But, what about that tree inside the machine? I know this particular tree has turned up elsewhere in other images, so it's likely to be representative of a personal memory. She has mentioned she sees trees as sanctuary, so possibly something which once offered a place of security or safety on some level. Trees in general can mean all kinds of things and it really depends on the species. When we think of a tree, it isn't usually too long before we think of their roots...they take years to grow and speak of longer passages of time when compared to other objects such as flowers. Washing a tree? Maybe clearing memories which have been in the making for years rather than months or weeks. 

The weather looks great for drying - a possible indicator of whatever is being washed out the mind will soon be emotion-free and therefore not painful or shameful or whatever else is being processed. 

Standing barefoot in the water would indicate an ability to connect with emotion, which is represented by the water. Shorelines are always symbolic of emotion in motion; an extremely positive indicator even if the emotion is dark or toxic. She's wearing black, and this could point to a period of mourning. The sand the woman stands on could be referring to the sands of time or the ground ever-shifting beneath her feet. There could be feelings of uncertainty, yet on the upside, it speaks of consciously engaging with change.

Birds are usually a good indicator of mental activity, and because they're flying towards us it could be an indication of thoughts and ideas which will soon be coming to mind. These thoughts are likely to help with further detachment; being able to see the situation from a higher perspective...or maybe the ability to emotionally disconnect and lose some of those memories in the process.

This image feels very positive, or at least it speaks of a positive mental attitude. 

There's loads of personal myth in this for me; I actually wrote about washing machines and the connection to relationships once. And, there's a reference to Montauk in the film. Kasia posted this image a handful of days after he'd dropped the bombshell that he'd be leaving in two months, I was in the process of acknowledging life would soon be changing and knew I'd be facing the prospect of having to let go of a bucket-load of memory...or run the risk of hankering and lamenting over what I'd lost and what I wished to return. The bloke, who's now gone, was working in Montauk when we met online. A year and a bit after we met, he moved over. Two and a half years after that and he moved back. I read a fake Buddha quote only hours later, something along the lines of change is not painful. Only your resistance to change is painful. And it's a good saying...whoever said it first. It was certainly timely, just like the image and film reference. 

So, I'll be sat here working on my resistance to change with the knowledge that memories only last as long as I keep them - but I can't deny, those stains don't always come out in the wash... 

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