It begins months, maybe years even, before you are born. The great pursuit, acquisition and assemblage of stuff. To keep and grow it we build houses around it, attach garages and rent sheds to park it, pound nails in order to hang it, buy locks to secure it, and make boxes with which to move it. After which, of course, it rarely ever sees the light of day again. Because in reality few of these items warrant most, if not, all of these efforts.
We've been duped by advertisers, manufacturers, lobbyists, friends, families, psychologists, society, entertainment, influencers, etc. into believing that having stuff is too important, too personally significant, too historically representative, too emotionally connected to success, to popularity, to reap envy, to define who we are as a person to not take these measures.
We beg to differ. Especially now, having for the most part downsized our possessions to fit in those four bags pictured above.
It wasn't easy, kind of a household chore that never seemed to end, but also the photo only tells part of the story. It doesn't tell the story of the houses, the cars, the decades of collecting Stuff. All the hours, days, months, years. All the money.
Those bags above mostly only show the uncertainty, and, if you know us, some of the heartache, and anticipation, and also restoration.
It brings to mind a poem by Charles Bukowski perfectly suited for this moment. “If you're going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don't even start.”
With that we propose focus on a different kind of goal, what we call Things which Delight Me.
We made this list a couple of years ago, probably around the start of the pandemic, but it took a lifetime to pull together, requiring a special kind of commitment and understanding. The hard part was then behaving like the person the list suggested we wanted to be, and while some of the items on the list require stuff, many don't. So in that regard taking stock of our old possessions wasn't really such a chore after all, and finding room for it in one of those packs? Easy-peasy!
Next stop Sicily!