Friday, July 9, 2010

"I better go through all my stuff..."

My family likes to hang onto stuff.  We went for an afternoon hike this week, and Monkey picked up these two large, flat river stones.  And wouldn't put them down when we left the riverbank and got back on the trail.

As we hiked farther and farther, and he went longer and longer without a nap, he began to whine and plead with us to carry him.  "I'm not going to carry you while you're holding those heavy rocks!" we told him.  But he wouldn't put them down, even as he was crying with fatigue, until we got to the next river stop and he forgot about them in the moment--and we neglected to remind him.

I admit to collecting wayyyyy more books and journals and art supplies and books than I know what to do with, but every so often it comes over me all in a rush, and I just want to drag everything out into the yard and set it on fire.

I remember how difficult it was to pack up my life and fit it into the trunk of my car (and sharing that with D. besides).  I remember having to choose--which books?  which journals?  could I manage without any paints?  Deciding how many pairs of shoes was necessary, and choosing the small objects that would make our tent into a home, like the mandala rug that belonged to D's parents.  It was a daunting task.

But today I woke up yearning for those days where every one of our possessions is in some way essential.  And also, where every one of our possessions has a specific place it can be tucked away when it's time to move on.

I wake up on a day like this, feeling weighted down by all this stuff.
So there it is--the results of a morning of feverish clawing through closets and drawers, shoving THE STUFF into bags and boxes.  All these old clothes and toys and diapers, goodbye!  And it's was just one room (I also made a significant dent in my office but that was more filing and shredding, a super exciting story for some other day, some other post...I promise!), but it made me feel so much better.  (Ask me if I still feel better one week from now when the stuff is still piled there by the door.  No, wait.  Don't.  We will ignore that pile if it is still there in one week.  We will pretend it never happened.)

Tomorrow:  we organize the camping gear!  or...we lounge about on the floor, gasping in the heat.  I mean, it could either way, really.  But I am NOT carrying the rocks, no matter what.

(Title is a quote from the poem, "Dream: Us Kids Swim off a Gray Pier" by Jack Kerouac.)

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