27 May 2014

it's just stuff, right?

Someone said to me today, after offering to buy something I am particularly fond of, "It's just stuff, right?"  Well yeah, sure, it's just stuff... stuff I've spend the last 25 years accumulating.  If I had written a love song for my stuff, this would be it:

The emotional attachment isn't sentimental - I'm not pining over certain items and reminiscing about that one time at band camp.  Like my Dad's things, which have no personal meaning as individual items, my things represent something that was once whole but no longer exists in a form I can touch, see, hold, smell...  The stuff I'm getting rid of isn't representative of single moments or milestones but adds up to a physical manifestation of my life's work, tangible things I can see and touch and feel that say, "I did this..."  

Dismantling my studio piecemeal and scattering the contents to the 4 winds is on one hand heart wrenching.  Props, costumes, backdrops, baby stuff, all my pretty pretty furniture and pretty pretty things.  How can I show people what I have done or prove what I have accomplished if I don't have stuff to demonstrate it?  That logic makes about as much sense as saying, "How will I remember my Dad if I don't have his stuff?" and is about as deep as a plate - anyone who is actually measuring my life by the quality or quantity of my stuff is definitely not anyone I care to impress in the first place.  Our culture has us programmed so deeply to want stuff that it's inescapable without conscious choices to shut it out and ignore it.

On the other hand, getting rid of stuff is very freeing.  It's almost addictive.  It's cathartic.  Maintaining the studio would continue tying me down to the "I have stuff therefore I am" paradigm that my head and my heart are both eager to reject.  When I remain conscious, it really is just stuff.

So, adios, beautiful white sofa.  You're going to a good home where you will be well-loved and much appreciated.  Good Riddance.

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