T-to-the-A

Stuff… it’s what’s for NOW

In The Daily Drool on October 17, 2009 at 7:47 am

I have too much stuff.  Sometimes I look around this apartment full of things I’ve collected and think God, is this who I am? I mean, could someone, a stranger, come into my place and see into me?  And what would they think?

My carpet is a shambles, the desk has been banished to the corner and my new desk, the kitchen table, is covered in debris.  I look around at the oddly placed, bright pieces of decor and wonder just what in the hell it means to have a black ceramic cat on the same shelf as photos, bamboo, and books on how to learn Italian… and next to that, a shelf housing games that never get played.  The dust is so thick I think they need CPR.  And the countertop!  Well the countertop is bravely holding up it’s fair share of nibbles, coupons, and bric-a-brac even though there is plenty of cupboard space beneath them… But there is just so very much stuff!

And I don’t even know why I have 99% of it.

Is this what life is?  A collected set of things… things we bought because we needed them, they sparkled in the sunlight, or they made us look skinny?  I remember my grandmother’s house – cleaning it out when I was 16- and how she saved absolutely everything.  A whole world stuffed inside it and we cleaned it out in a few weeks.  She didn’t even get to be there to walk down memory lane… she had to tell us from her new bed in the retirement center which plates were to go to whom.

Is this just “How it goes?”  Am I spending time and energy accumulating things that my (dreamed of) kids will roll their eyes at someday as they toss it into a box for the selling?  I mean, what is our fascination with collecting all of these things?

(sigh)

And maybe I’m just tired… maybe I’m tired of looking around this apartment full of things that I don’t use, need, or remember buying.  Yes, a book about photoshop seemed like a great idea, but I’ve never opened it!  Yes, I like the big red desk lamp that I bought for my office at the LATC, but that office is now holding someone else hostage… Why am I still hanging on to the lamp?

I am starting to feel owned by my past self… owned by these things around me.  Owned by my inability to throw out the old sheets because 1- It would be wasteful, 2- who knows if I might need them in a pinch?  3- If I want to make a difference, I’m going to have to get rid of a lot more than a set of sheets.  It would be like the tip of the iceberg… hardly satisfying unless I tackle the whole, larger picture.

And that would be a lot of work indeed.

But somewhere in all the looking around myself, I’ve begun to see only these remnants from my past- a life that hasn’t really been panning out the way I had hoped (alright, I’ll be positive… yet) and I want to be free.

Of all of it.

But I lack the conviction to just do away with it.  I lack the certainty that in the purge I will find peace.

Because peace is what this is really about.  Peace of mind, of heart, of creative soul- my life is really cluttered by intangibles at the moment, it makes sense to want to do away with the clutter you can pick up and toss.

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