In the beginning of the traditional new year, Sam Lovelace began preparations for a project that would last one year and result in her getting rid of 80% of her belongings. The project is very ritualistic in nature and has to do with lightness and letting go of her difficult past. After four months of preparation the official beginning of the project came on May 1st of this year, what she calls her new year. The most difficult part comes first. In a very intimate setting with only her husband, a close friend, and me overseeing the event, she burned all of her most important and sentimental possessions. Everything that she had held onto from her childhood and through the years. Letters from boyfriends, an obituary of a close friend, pictures… all of the things that were most tied to memories all went up in flames. On the day of the burning, I asked Sam how she felt, to which she replied, “Elated!” She remarked again and again about how a huge burden had been lifted off of her. However she also described it as an emotional cocktail. There is of course strong emotions tied to each of the items that she burned. She laughed as she read old love notes and paused for moments of reflection before incinerating irreplaceable pieces of her past. Sam is planning on making a book about the experience after it’s completion in May of 2010.