in which I work at decreasing the amount of stuff I hang on to
I have all the feels for this ! Before Covid Emily was doing Tidy Tuesdays helping me organize and get rid of things. I did pretty good but would inevitably put just a couple items back. She took a picture of a self portrait she had done in 6th grade and then put the sketchbook in the recycling pile and sent the pic to me in text. The sketchbook is back in the closet. It's so difficult to decide what our priorities are in getting rid of our clutter and it's different for everyone.
Hello Ellen! Well this is inspiring. I too am purging. Mostly because after a few deaths in our family, I do not want to burden anyone with my stuff. I have a fantasy of a ruthless purge but my reality is closer to yours. Too many creative ideas around saving things, being a writer - the rough drafts are overwhelming and the sentimental factor of not wanting to let go of memories in the form of things. Plus, I have a few collections!
You and Rick, my friend. And me, I guess but his items are inevitably larger.
There’s a beautiful passage in Ruth Ozeki’s, The Book of Form and Emptiness about that fantasy of what the things could become...a rag rug, a quilt...something. I think you’re right that a lot of it is tied up in fantasies of identity...who we are and who we wish we were. The whole novel is a gorgeous meditation on stuff.
Sometimes I think I’d like a bigger house and then I remember the constraints it forces--there’s just not enough room for stuff--and I’m grateful.
I loved this piece. I’m glad you took mom’s purse back out of the Goodwill box!
Oh..how you touched my heart strings. Anne says I'm a hoarder..but it is all useful at a later time.
I loved this and recognized myself in the things you described, including letting go of the proof of college. Grandparents and elderly aunts and uncles have passed and I have many of their old photos, decorative items, handmade Doilies and kitchen utensils. I think of them each time I use a measuring cup or a metal wisk, many items down from their parents. A multi colored granny square blanket and a giant Ball canning jar of crochet snakes (I assume that her mother was planning to make a rug from), that now sits in my tiny bedroom. There is a town wide yard sale in spring and I will be setting up a table on my lawn...