Sunday, November 1, 2009

Cutting The Ties That Bind

I know next to nothing about Buddhism. Nothing at all about the spiritual beliefs of Native Americans, of Hinduism, Judaism, or the beliefs of a host of other religions - but as I try to divest myself of the baggage I have accumulated over a lifetime of collecting, I can appreciate more and more the concept of 'travelling light'.

I'm thinking - and writing - about this today, having just completed a very successful sale of most of my vinyl record collection. At 61, I have been buying and collecting records since my early teens. To be honest, I probably haven't bought more than a dozen vinyl albums over the past ten years, so the bulk of my 700 plus record collection was acquired over a period of 30 years.

I don't know if scientists mapping the human genome have discovered the gene responsible for the human habit of collecting, but I'm sure it's there somewhere, because I can personally attest to its power.

Since I sold my home in May 2007, I have had a storage shed full of stuff that at the time, I simply found impossible to part with. Two years later, and a couple of thousand dollars poorer, I have finally begun the process of letting this stuff go.

Apart from some household goods, the bulk of this stuff consists of books, vinyl records, CDs, and DVDs. Those four categories alone would collectively add up to several thousand items. Add to this, magazine collections, personal documents, photo albums, and who knows what else, and it's not hard to see why a large storage shed was needed to house them.

And so the process of passing these things on to others has begun. Slowly at first - but as my plans for future travel draw closer - now faster, and faster, I am reselling books I will never get around to reading, and vinyl albums I will rarely sit down and listen to. At least the CDs and DVDs take up much less space, and are lighter to move around, but even these will eventually go to other homes.

I don't know where all this is leading, except that I want to cut these ties that bind, and try and reach a mental and physical state where I can move more freely from one location to another; one country to another, without feeling the pull - the constant drag - of stuff.

The upside of all this selling is that so far I have raised $2,500 which will go towards my forthcoming travel costs, and that makes the whole process just that little bit easier.
IMAGE: Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative Quilt - The Ties that Bind, © AmyB
Read more about this quilt here...

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