Objects at Rest Remain at Rest

IMG_1817I had a really great blog post planned for today, but due to circumstances beyond my control I will be posting it next week instead (I hope). It will make less sense then, but it will it won’t get anyone in trouble.

Today, I’m going to be talking about stuff. Things. The accumulation of tangible objects. What we always say we have too much of. I waffle on things. Sometimes I think that I could live a really minimalist lifestyle. I could get all my books from the library. I could just wear the same week’s worth of outfits all the time. I don’t actually wear half the shoes I own. I don’t have a lot of makeup anyway. What does any one person really need in the world, anyway?

But this weekend I was at home clearing out a bunch of my stuff. I’ve almost entirely moved out of my parents house, but there was still a little left to do. As part of this project, I was trying to get rid of a lot. I don’t have a ton of space in Boston and I have all kinds of that stuff I hadn’t thought of in years, let alone seen or missed. And yet still, the whole project left me feeling a little like an exposed nerve. You can see from the picture just the sheer amount of books alone I got rid of this weekend.

Books, as we’ve discussed previously, are super important to me. Being the girl with all the books has been how I recognize myself since I was in grade school. Buying books, and all the potential unread books represent, is how I always made myself feel better on bad days. There’s a lot of potential sitting on that bed, and a lot of old favorites. A lot of potential for other people, as my mom kept reminding me. But it used to be mine.

It wasn’t just books though. It was class photos, old projects, Legos. It was the bookshelf I painted myself, now meeting its end in a dumpster; a leather jacket I bought abroad that no longer fit; things my parents had bought for themselves and never used. Things I had bought for them that they had never used.

I was taught the value of money in my youth. I didn’t just buy any of these things haphazardly, and neither did my parents. And yet, years later, we had accumulated so many things that we never used, never touched. Things that just took up space, that we surrounded ourselves with, that mattered a lot in each individual moment, but mattered hardly at all this weekend.

The cause of my anxiety about all this will become clearer in the coming weeks. Many of you may be able to put together the clues based on what I’ve told you. Times, they are a’ changin, and the things I’ve surrounded myself with my whole life aren’t going to be around anymore.

The question then becomes… If I’m my stuff, then who am I now? And if I’m not my stuff, then who the hell have I been all these years?


Today we’re going to try something new

She had ideas but no patience to fill them, to see them from beginning to the end. She thought about lines, how they go from one end to the other. They had no concept of stopping of diverting course. She wondered what it would take, to make her focus, to make her see, to fully break her with such an emotion that she has never felt. She wanted it badly, sought it at every corner of the universe, of the Internet, of her mind – no, that was a lie. Even the search for truth couldn’t hold her. She felt as though she has been in the ocean too long, the buoyancy no longer welcome but a hindrance to progress and purposeful motion. She wanted to walk, to walk forever, with no worries about getting back. Her footprints would be in the sand or on a sidewalk soaked with rain, her arch carved out and each toe a tiny circle. She didn’t feel real without a sense of touch. She wanted to communicate with every molecule on earth, and would not be satisfied until every force was fully absorbed. She wanted each pore in her skin to seep and ooze with experience and sweat and blood. She wanted violence, a sharp knife drawing beautiful scars all over her body, making it art, making it a symbol; of her life, her mind, her desires. She wanted to stand naked and content before everyone as she walked down the street, giving her body to the world knowing that they didn’t own it, could never own it, not fully, only down to a certain point. She thought how little people screamed and how wonderful it was to rip open our vocal cords to release the energy we build up just by being human. She was afraid of that deep cavern in her chest and heart; it was as vast and as dark as the universe and much less explored. She thought we all have this in us, we all feel it and shouldn’t we explore it together, perhaps even hold hands? She missed those who had abandoned the search and the adventure. They were gone and she wished them well and knew it was selfish to crave their return. She thought about the questions that would always remain unanswered. She wondered how long she would have to stay here, suspended in time. She thought she could last forever, but she was tired and beaten and wanted a smoke. Who cares? she thought. You do. The clock on the wall was ticking, still ticking and would tick until the batteries died. She wanted it to tick until her batteries died too. She wanted that clock to tick for centuries after her death as a tribute to the seconds she never used. Those seconds would build greater and better things and between them, between each tick, was all the knowledge of the universe. She thought about her patience. It made her want to bury herself in all the second the universe had to hold, to take them as she pleased or at least borrow what she could. But time is not spread before us to pick and choose. We are handed one moment at a time. We take those seconds for granted, filling our glasses to the brim until it all tumbles over. She thought about the great things those seconds would become and how they were going to make something no one can ignore, but ignore it they will. She thought about the seconds she had discarded, or swept away. She thought about vibration, about skin on skin. She thought about what was contained in her body and if it was as beautiful as people said. She wondered when she was leaving and how far she would have to go. She wanted to go very, very far.