Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Passing through

Shaking the dust out of a braided rug, a heavy braided rug, an old, familiar thought came back to me and said, "I am only passing through." I took stock of my possessions and they concurred. I only need one blanket, some clothes, some soft excuse for a bed (and even those I usually borrow), and my tools. But my apartment is full of things and most of them are not mine. Now we approach the bottom of the thought. How much garbage do we carry around in our lives, and why do we fill our worlds with it? If we don't have a lot of stuff, what does that say about us? And so forth.

Cleaning is an outstanding way to free up thoughts. I am not a cleaner by nature. I am a cleaner by peevishness and frustration. Today I am a cleaner by apartment showing. Do I really need to make this place sparkle? Absolutely not. I merely want to make it look good so the landlord does not sit on an empty apartment. But I was talking about freeing up thoughts.

The apartment smells like oil soap. I suppose the real questions is why I care about other people and their stuff. I do hate clutter, and perhaps it is only when foreign clutter clutters my space that I begin heaping advice upon people. That is, I will mind my own business until your business starts piling up around me. But then, why this post? I mean, I've probably never had to move a single piece of your junk or sweep behind any of your dressers, so what gives?

Well, I really do find it incredibly strange that people carry so many possessions around with them. Some people cannot throw away anything. Some people carry every birthday card they ever got all the way to their grave. We don't read those birthday cards; we probably don't remember what they said; we don't put them to other uses; but nonetheless we carry them around; and birthday cards are only one category of useless stuff. Are we comforted by this crap? I just don't understand. We are only passing through, and so it seems reasonable to keep only those things that make passing through easier or more enjoyable. Those are the two aspects of a single utility: ease and joy. If a thing loses its utility, junk it. Put that shit in the trash. But oh no, we can't do that. So what are we afraid of?

I don't know. I need to head to the bank now to acquire a bank check. However, before I go, it seems right to end this post with a list of items that I deem worthy of carrying around:

Cooking supplies (for cooking food is essential to life).

Books and other media that you actually use on a somewhat regular basis; it could be annual.

House plants (because plants are like pets in that they add pleasure and comfort to life).

Minimal clothing and bedding and grooming supplies.

An absolute minimum of furniture. (Most people have only one ass, so they probably don't need more than a couple chairs.)

Footwear: I really can't understand people who have a shit load of shoes. Again, you only have two feet. Why do you pretend that you are like some mutant octopus person with eighty pairs of legs and the feet to go with them?

Art supplies (if you are an artist, art supplies are embedded in your life. This is why poetry is the most expedient art form: you don't need a bunch of supplies and you don't amass a pile of bulky work).

One bag; two bags maximum.

A garbage can (because you shouldn't throw shit all over the floor).

Okay, this has clearly become a rant. Now I must really be heading to the bank. There is more cleaning to do afterwards.

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