Friday, October 26, 2007

Stuff, Junk, Treasures and the Coffee Pot

MOVING DAY, giddy up!

Sorting it. Giving some away. Throwing some away. Packing up the rest. Moving it. Storing it. All of the STUFF. I have a one track mind right now - move my stuff. Boxes and packing tape and scissors become extensions of my hands. Coffee and Coke and Wendy's crispy chicken sandwiches become the sum of my diet. The U-Haul truck becomes my stagecoach. Gasoline feeds my ponies. I load up and take to the road.

But, where does all of the stuff come from? And, do I need all of this stuff? Of course not. And as I look around, beyond my stuff, I see signs of our materialism everywhere. Storage units are growing and multiplying as fast as shopping malls. And, they have evolved from the old outdoor garage-looking units to comfortable, climate controlled indoor rooms. So comfy that my son joked about taking a nap on the couch after we unloaded the last of it (for that day). Have we reduced ourselves to the sum of our stuff? And while I moved my stuff from point A to point B, the California wild fires grew daily while being continuously fed all of the stuff in their path. I thought about the mixed blessings of starting over. Starting with almost nothing . . . and would I make the same mistakes? What memories would I carry with me were they not reliant upon photos, souvenirs, family heirlooms and other memorabilia? How much of my energy have I invested into every object I possess? Would I regain that energy little by little with my letting go of the stuff . . . object by object? Of course I would. But we'll all probably continue to buy and buy and buy until we run out of space . . .
And when we've once again had enough, at least for a while, we'll call in someone to take it away for us.

If I were to guess, I would guess that storage units and junk removal companies (along with trash yards and recycling centers) are the businesses to be in these days, considering the growing amount of STUFF. And when the trash piles are high enough and grass covers the hill, then a concert venue is born. And in the end, ART, my friends . . . ART! Soi la vie!


Kate S said...

Eek! Moving! ...Shudders...

Lindy, I've given away nearly all my worldly possessions a couple of times now, and each time it was so liberating I swore I'd never collect so much junk again.

However... it's a well known fact that if you put two knick-knacks side by side they'll mate and multiply. :) And if you put them in a closet where they have a little privacy, look out! They're worse than rabbits.

Stewart Sternberg said...

Sometimes you just have to throw stuff away. When I move, I'm ruthless. Sometimes, I look back, and think about the stuff I wished I had saved. Then, shake my head and thank God that I didn't.

eric1313 said...

That's always a good question: Do we let our selves become defined by our possessions?

That's one of the things I liked about the movie Fight Club.

"You are not your bank account"
"You are not your red sports car"
"You are not your oxford cloth shirt"
"You are not the contents of your wallet"

Or the question:
"Are we all refrigerators full of condiments, but nothing of substance to eat?"

And I love what you said about how it all becomes a way to make the banked amphitheatres that we watch concerts in. What a great way to end this post.

Hope you get this hectic phase of life ironed out. No wonder your a busy person lately.

the walking man said...

My solution for collecting stuff is to buy nothing that is not edible nor drinkable. That way If we ever move i only have my computers.

Now my wife on the hand...

Whip them ponies load them boxes unload them that boxes and go back for the seventh load and then you;ll find the stereo you though was stolen in 1975



realbigwings said...

Great post, Lindy. I think about these things a lot too.
I get invigorated by change, and I've moved so many times I know the cycle. I like the part of removing myself from my stuff, reordering my stuff, and slimming it down. Then in other parts of the story cycle I like focusing on my stuff and using it to create the world I want around me.
The whole cycle's beautiful and teaches many lessons, don't you think?

Take care~

Michelle's Spell said...

Moving is tough so good luck with it all! Near my 30th birthday, I found a great book called Clearing Your Clutter with Feng-Shui by Karen Kingston. I'd never considered myself a packrat, but the book revolutionized my life at a time when things were going to hell. I suggest it for anyone who needs a new way of looking at the stuff issue.

Pythia3 said...

Thank you - all of you - for your generous comments!
Kate, I agree, I have given away so much - I LOVE your knick-knack theory! That is so funny and soooo true!
Stewart, I have sometimes forgotten what I discarded during my ruthlessness (or overwhelmed state) and so I looked for certain things (during odd moments of remembrance.) And then I would hum to myself . . . I looked at stuff from both sides now, from up and down and still somehow it stuff's illusion's I recall - I really don't need stuff . . . at all.
I knew you would hate that! But, you can't hate Joni, please!
Eric, you are so right, we are not our things and yet we invest so much time, money and energy into those 'things" that we can forget what we are NOT - which does not answer the question - "what are we?" And so, we continue the more "measurable" path.
Mark, are you sure that it is your wife and not you collecting "stuff?" So many men swear they have little "stuff," like my dad, for example, who got aggravated by mom's stuff...and yet his tools, gadgets, hunting and fishing gear, etc add up to much more. He just doesn't see it as "stuff." I have lived lighter and loved it! When I lived in Europe there was no pressure to buy, collect, gather - just drink, eat and LIVE!
Dawn, I LOVE your description of the life cycle - it put a smile on my face during the stressful hours. My kids have also always loved the changes. I remember hearing Johnny Depp talk about moving all the time as a kid - he said loved it too.
Michelle, that sounds like a great book - I wonder if the library has it so i don't have to own another thing right now! LOL But, oh yes, we are writers and we must have air, water, food and BOOKS!