Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Packing Up

I hate my possessions and dream of living in empty rooms. Despite this desire, I accumulate stuff, like everyone else. No one forced these things on me. At some point, I thought my life required additional equipment. Just like everyone else, once I get something, I have a horrible time letting go of it. Somewhere in my art bin there are fine etching tools. I have not made an etching in thirty years. Thirty. Years. But I can't let go of the tools, because one day, long after I'm dead, in an alternate universe I'll never visit . . . I'll use them. No, I won't. I'll never use them, but I'm powerless to throw them out.

I make honest efforts to unburden myself from this stuff. I've given away books, furniture, appliances, and sculptures filled with glycerin. I received a few more inches of breathing room, but I was always disappointed with the result. I wanted to roller skate through the living room. 

The problem with trying to improve myself is that I only do what I'm forced to do. Many people succeed by putting themselves in uncomfortable situations, where they are forced to perform. They climb mountains or join the military.

In my case, I am moving out of my house. We're not out yet, but we soon will be. This deadline makes me ruthless, merciless in my hauling. I'd like to get my stuff down to one suitcase, but that's impossible. After two months of sorting, day and night, I'm down to a few cubic yards. Sadly, the house looks worse, because now there are boxes everywhere. I'm hoping to feel the open space when I get to the new house, but I may be in for more disappointment. 

Disappointment or not, it has to be done. Misa and Max have their own possessions to deal with, and we'll compare notes on the other side. 

Meanwhile, I feel relief already. I knew I had old light fixtures, cans of paint, photo negatives, slides vulnerable to molding. The constant reminders—Need to deal with those, maybe next weekend—took a toll on my meager mental processes. Now that stuff is all gone. I can put some new thoughts in those neurons.  

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