Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Holding on, letting go.


Going through my stuff is my everyday occupation.  When I'm not actually running my fingers through it, I'm fondling it with my mind.  Right this minute, I am both sitting on the sofa in my bathrobe and upstairs in the attic plotting the fate of a ceramic bunny.  The bunny is poised over the Toss pile, except my imagination keeps taking it out and putting it in the Keep box.  This isn't a bunny of great worth or deep sentiment.  I just think it's cute.

I'm also trudging through a thick layer of meta-analysis.  Why does a porcelain rabbit speak to me when my grandmother's silver does not?  I can't wait to get the depression glass and majolica back to my mother.  What is wrong with me, that I can't get the holding on right?

Being able to store some things has created ease in making decisions.  I don't have to watch my possessions tumbling into the abyss of the Goodwill bin if I'd rather not.  Mostly, though, the bin is a symbol of my freedom and I welcome it.  And, let's not forget the great emotional No Man's Land:  the yard sale.  Nothing like having strangers judge your stuff and find it not worth 25¢ to shake your self-image.

Let me be clear:  the bag of rocks my son gave me when he was six, so I would "remember him when he grew up and got married"?  They stay.  The truck he made with his grandfather out of wood bits and glue?  You know it.

I mentioned a friend who traveled west with only as much as would fit in her car.  She returned for love and duty, and discharged her obligations, but why stay?  She told me about her house - a three bedroom ranch - which she shares with a cat.  Her things fill the home, things that matter to her.  Why wouldn't they matter?  She is careful to surround herself with beauty and joy, and her possessions tell a story about her.  She loves books, art, theater.  This isn't junk she lives with.  It's her own aura.

Still, it bothers her that she is attached to her possessions.  Her Buddha self would like to practice unattachment, to let go and GO.  She says her inner and outer lives don't match.

These are not just more gratuitous italics I've thrown up here.  This seems really important to me, maybe because I've never thought of things just that way.  This thing I think of as happiness - is it simply a quest to get my outtards to go with my innards?

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dirtyduck said...

i know what you mean, my grandma has given me a few pieces of heirloom quality stuff...but what im dying for is the ceramic bunny that is in her powder room, its full of cotton balls that you pull out of its tail......i gave my mom the stuff that my grandma gave me.....for safekeeping but also because i know that i dont value it as i should,,,as i would value that bunny with cotton stuffed up its butt

¡Vizcacha! said...

Haha! Yes, exactly. That bunny-butt is the perfect symbol for this state of mind. Maybe more people feel this way than I expected.