Remember last night, when I posted something totally inconsequential about dragoncon? Well, this is what I /meant/ to post...
I like my stuff. This is good, because I have a lot of it. Many people have commented, over the course of the move, that I have a lot of stuff. That I should get rid of some/much/all of my stuff. That there's too much of it.
I disagree, and quite honestly, I'm getting tired of hearing it.
(That said, I quite sincerely want to thank everyone who, no matter what their feelings on my/our stuff, helped me/us pack and move it. It was really unpleasant, but without the help it would have been truly hellacious. A million thanks, and we still owe you dinner.)
My stuff is many things to me. One of them being memory. I have a lousy memory in many many cases. Ironically, considering what I'm doing right this very second, I've always been a wretched diarist. I'm a poor corespondent. I just don't write much. This means that I don't have a written trail of what I've done over the years, mostly. This means that I would lose huge tracts of my past - or more accurately, be unable to bring them to the surface - without the reminders my stuff provides me.( Insert Appropriate Lyrics Here )
Some people might find this sad, but I'm ok with it. There is, perhaps, a weakness to relying on so much external paraphernalia...in the case of a devistating fire/flood/chasm opening in the ground, I'm fucked...and perhaps I would discover how much I'm capable of remembering without my stuff...but as it stands, I don't see the need to practice this.
Yes, it's a pain to move. Yes, it means I need to spend more money on living space, because I need, as George Carlin so aptly put it, long before he became so cynical and rant-filled, a place for my stuff. (Of course, he was wrong when he noted "How can you want Everything In the World? You'd have no place to put it!", as part of 'Everything In the World' would include all the closet/cabinet/warehouse space in the world, too.) but it's mine and I like it. I like having random things. I like never being fully sure what I'll find in the next box I come to or when I pack my closet 4 years after I (started to) unpack it.
That said, I threw out many many things when we were packing. I threw out lots of old papers. Many trees worth of printouts of info-mac and SF-Lovers digests, made when laser printers at NYU's computing centers were free and it was the easiest way to be able to read them all - not that I ever did...; many old computers (some of which found new homes via reuse or the general Camberville end-of-August scrounge fest)(and 1 I kept, because I want it to go to a good home. Who wants a DEC Rainbow, who will promise to care for it and love it?), the table I inherited from Laurie (Pinsker) Ramey when I moved in to KLG's townhouse after she'd moved out - though I'm still using her bookshelves and I still have the chair I got from Marty Gear which used to live in the KLGAI lobby; and lots and lots of cruft. I feel ok about having purged so much, mostly, but I still have a feeling that there are things I will now never remember again, as their triggers have been removed from my life.
(The Rainbow is also symbolic of something else about my stuff. I care about the fate of much of it. Many things I have I want to go to a good home if I'm no longer going to keep it. I know that not everyone attaches the same sort of significance to things, but if I do, I can guide the fate of things that leave my possession. Not everything, mind you...I know what trash is. I throw it away. Really. I just don't necessarily agree with you on the fine points of the definition.)
(I DO have a dream (queue: Beautiful Dreamer) of managing to sort the stuff before we move again, so that most of the boxes that move out of here contain one category of thing, where that category is better than just "Stuff"...but I'm not holding my breath. At the very least, I want to get my papers in better order. All the old letters and cards and such, all the photos, etc.)
Tomorrow, too fucking early, folks come to haul out their/other people's stuff from our new place, so that we'll finally have room (swap space) to unpack and make this warehouse a home. It'll be tight, but it'll be ok. I've got my family. I've got my stuff. We'll make it.
Your choice of witty closing lines:
We all have our baggage. Mine's just stuff OTHER people can carry for me.
Friends help you move. Real friends help you move books. And CDs. And Vinyl. And Cassette tapes. And clothes. And games. And stuff. And cruft. And junk.