Sunday, January 22, 2012

DIVESTING


While visiting our old friends B and L for the first time in a long while, I found myself taking a fresh look around. The sheer amount of STUFF everywhere, as beautiful and interesting as it may have been, felt oppressing. I was reminded about how frightening I find the idea of divesting myself of the stuff in my house and office, poised as I am on the cusp of some big life changes.

L and I looked through thousands of her photos and she was eager for me to choose some that she would print up for me. There were many beautiful ones, but the sheer quantity of it all was overwhelming. I am trying to understand what it would feel like to produce so many pieces of art in various media without a plan for them to find a home. It's true that we rightly teach kids to value "process over product," but still...

I hold back from acquiring more things because to add to my stash reminds me that I am on the wrong side of the life cycle. Unlike many people who enjoy buying new clothes, I love my old clothes, and cannot imagine having enough time even to wear all of them.

So it was hard to decide what to do about L's offer. I ended up accepting the four framed pieces that she had selected for me, but I also took a number of the out-takes that were not framed that I found especially lovely. These will be easy to transport from this house to our house in Italy, and I can just put them up on the wall in a simple manner. Technology helps by making it possible to transfer many thousands of photos onto a stick. That way they are there, somewhere, and can be accessed, but without adding to our clutter.

It's fall, and death is in the air. But then again, it always was. From Day One. Life is what we do to keep ourselves from noticing.


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