Haven’t you heard me go on and on about stuff? Haven’t I cleared my house? my life? (some of) our garage? (once in awhile) my desk? I may have more posts about “stuff” than any other subject.
Now I have another full household of it to clutch to my breast and defend as I would my honor: her crocks, that old dresser that always sat in the living room. Oh no, did someone else get that swan? Well, I can’t let that blanket chest just go out in the free pile. And, what about the old bean pot, do all of my kids have one?
From torn ends of Pendleton blankets to chipped Bauer lids, I look around the cluttered area that once looked homey and am immobilized by my fear of letting go of some item that will, just by looking at it or touching it, evoke warm memories of my past. I’ve sucked up some of my parents depression mentality, too. What if I want those canning jars, I may need those extra lids.
I’m thankful that my propensity for self-examination kicks in at every turn.
Because in any given moment, I can get caught up in the perceived value of stuff. I convince myself that an item that might bring $10 as a collectible is worth cleaning, packing, carrying to my house and trying to locate some son, daughter, niece or nephew who might be thrilled to own it. Or not!
For what? Would they ever go buy it? How much of other people’s stuff can any of us keep in our houses without subjugating our own style? If I think carefully about it, it’s a bit like visiting the Dalai Lama and buying a plastic Buddha to remind myself that I saw him.
I don’t think I’m alone in this obsession to own tactile memories of spiritual blessings. Else why would every noteworthy site in the world (think Musee d’Orsay, Tikal, Killing Fields in Cambodia) guide its pilgrims through the gift shop as they leave the area?
But I want to talk myself down. I want my home to have what I need and to represent what I cherish.
Okay, I’m going downstairs to sort now. And if that doesn’t work, I’m going to see Peter Walsh this weekend.