Thursday, June 9, 2011

Jettison beam ON: pew pew pew!

This year I am taking luxurious time packing for the big move down South.  There's four weeks until we travel down to house-hunt, and seven weeks until we move down for real.  In theory, I should be able to pack a few boxes a week and spend my last few nights in Oberlin spending time with my favorite people and places instead of my usual: cramming anything and everything into a box at 4 in the morning and muttering "I'll sort that when I unpack" as I wrap half a roll of duct tape around it to keep the box contained.

Anything and everything never got sorted, a consequence of tight schedules, laziness, pack-rattyness, and being a low-priority.  I drove to college with all I needed in a mini-van, and it would probably take 3 or 4 mini-vans to shift me today.   I've made an effort to be conscious of what I buy for reasons of space, money, planning for the future, but accumulated.

As I pack for the South, I am overcome with the desire to jettison anything and everything and halt all expenses that isn't rent, utilities, car expenses, or food.  I would like to be able to fit into a mini-van with my stuff once again (minus the pets and their large cages, of course).  Easier to transport!  Easier to clean!  More open space!  More mental space!*  Considering how materialistic I have been in the past, it's almost surprising how readily I can detatch myself from these things today.** On crankier days I've even considered the 100 Things Challenge but haven't quite reconciled possessing 100 things when as an artist I tend to keep quite a few art supplies and yarn around for inspiration and play; somewhere there is a happy medium yet to be discovered.

One of my colleagues mused the other day: "Sometimes I wonder if the economy going poorly is the universe telling us that money and material goods should not be the focus of our existence."

I have decided my animal guide on this quest to lighten my load is this little guy, who makes his home what he pleases and carries it wherever he goes:

Image from

The first week after graduation I sorted through the bedding (goodbye, twin long sheets!) and I trimmed my closet.   This week I took a critical look at my bookshelves and my yarn stash, and started going through papers; this feeling of freedom comes with the recognition I am a poor candidate for beginning an heirloom tradition.  Oh well.  Win some, loose some!

*When I accept a material good into my home, I devote a small part of my brain to it so I remember it is there and will use it.  Less things, more brain space available for other things.  Anybody else react this way?
** As long as it is my choice to detach; it's a lot harder when material goods are forcibly removed or lost.

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