I’ve had a temporary schedule change at work. I will be posting more this week and next week and should have my time back fully after Thanksgiving. Right now, when I am not at work I am focusing on my relationship with things. After reading Bruce Sterling’s article, “The Last Viridian Note,” I am removing from the house everything I have not touched in a year or more. My goal is to take at least ten things out per week. The hard part is seeing the veneer of the emotional attachment and cutting through it. It can be thick in some places. It depends on the object. I got this Tuaca Lemon Drop cup at a liquor booth at a festival. I thought it was a neat thing to have so I paid whatever the price of the drink was and took it home. That was four years ago. I haven’t bought Tuaca or ordered a Lemon Drop at a bar since.
So why keep it? What is my attachment to the thing? Is it the color? The shape? Or that it’s something I don’t see very often? It’s hard to pinpoint an exact connection with this one. Expanding from that, what is my connection with every one of the “dust catchers” I have around here? I doubt it’s the same for everything but is there a connection that’s common among certain items. There are a few that I can tell you exactly why I have them and exactly why I plan to keep them. But that covers maybe a handful of things. The rest have been occupying space in my house for years. They were special at one time and while I can probably tell you where and maybe even when I got them, I’ll be taking them off shelves and out of boxes where they’ve been packed away. Soon they’ll be on their way to Goodwill to people who are quite possibly starting their own collections of crap.
I could destroy the stuff. Maybe it would be better to bust, shatter, cut and crush rather than have it continue it’s space-taking, emotion-leaching, shelf-sitting, dust-collecting, being-curious-looking, conversation piece existence…long metaphor…sorry. Donating or selling it is nothing more than pushing the objects of my soon-too-be-former packrattiness off on someone else. I don’t like that idea but I don’t see much in the way of options. I don’t have a grinding wheel and we’re under a long-term burn ban. I could bury it in the back yard. But until it finally breaks down I’d be running both my own personal landfill and the risk that I might dig it up and wash it all off or worse, buy more. Hey, maybe someone will pick it up who doesn’t have a compulsion for collecting. I am going to do one thing different this time. I’m going to remove the shelving and repair the sheet rock where the screw anchors are. These things have taken up enough space. It’s time for a clean wall. It’s time for clean space…a new space.