I can not remember a time when I went without. I can not remember a time when I did not have more than I needed. I have never gone hungry. I have never gone thirsty. I have never been too cold, or too hot, for too long. I have always felt safe, and confident of the goodness of the people in my world. And I have always had more than enough of everything I could possibly ever need.
In fact one of the many gifts of my life has been the largesse of the material world. Maybe not in coin, but most definitely in goods. I have always been able to “turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse.” I can find it second hand and make it into something Anthropologie would charge you beau coup bucks to own, and as a result I have accumulated way more than I will ever be able to use.
I know I am not alone in reaching this stage in our lives when we gasp “Whoa Nelly, enough is enough!”
How did this happen? Wasn’t it yesterday that everything we owned could fit into our backpack?. . . Car? . . . Studio apartment? Can’t we blame this on the kids? Didn’t we accumulate all of this stuff in order to make a home for them? And what about the fact that I am an artist? I need this stuff as raw material for art — don’t I?
I have moved house many times, and every time I’ve moved I have purged and donated, recycled and thrown away tons of stuff. I do it as I’m packing and I do it again as I’m unpacking. This latest move is the first time that we are actually “downsizing” however, and that means I have a much smaller house in which to try and make everything fit.
It’s not working.
Yes. This is my garage.
And this is the storage room I’ve renamed the butler’s pantry/monument to materialism…
but which is in fact an embarrassment of riches.
If there isn’t a Twelve Step program for this kind of problem, there should be. I admitt I’m powerless over my ability to accumulate more than I need. I’m willing to take inventory. And I’m ready to give it back.
Most of it.
Well, a lot of it anyway.
When we moved out of our last house we had a driveway sale, and as the day wore on we switched our signs from “REALLY” “CHEAP” “STUFF” to “FREE” “STUFF,” “REALLY!”
I’m thinking I need to do that again at our new place.