Build Your Leaders

Postcard from Asheville

February 2013

The box was heavy. It ought to be.It contained more than thirty journals—some dating back to 1996—each packed with dreams, observations, and insights. And now, I was going to burn them.

“Burn your journals!” Friends were shocked.

I explained I was ready to let go of the past and the ritual of burning the journals would help me do so. Further, one of the reasons I held onto them was I was trying to hold on the knowledge they contained.Also, I held onto them hoping to cling to the knowledge they contained. Iknow better. Either that knowledge is a part of who I am or it is not. Finally, by clearing out the old, I am making room for the new. Nature abhors a vacuum.

My friend Laurie built a fire on her property. I opened each journal, read a passage, and tossed it into the flames. The pages turned brown, then black, and then curled and crumbled into ash. An hour later all that remained was the cardboard box I carried the journals in.

That night, Laurie returned to the fire pit to ensure the fire was out. All that remained of my journals was a tiny scrap of paper. It read: “I am ready.”