The accumulation of things.
I spent my day yesterday cleaning out a storage facility I’ve had in LA for a year now. Configuration and reconfiguration had started to become the way I saw these possessions…not in their arrangement in my home to make life more joyful, it was instead how to fit them best into a small box, how to make them less of a burden.
They have been waiting, deteriorating, useless, costing, while I live a life that needs none of those things. They are lost in the cyclone of what I should do, what is prudent, what is not wasteful, in someday. They are dangling from tiny fish-hooks that tether to the uncertainty of future and what I might regret giving up. My reasoning for acquiring these things was so creative and opening. They were investments. They have now become so dead that it is hard to imagine how they had importance.
I have done this before: taken big steps to de-accumulate. But each time has been an opaque sliver from the top of the cheese and each time, stacking the remaining items into a new Tetris, just a little bit smaller, but no less burdensome. This time I am moving to an apartment. This time I am picking the last very few things that support the necessities: sleep, eat, create, love.
The discarded things came to a violent end.
The act had the brutality of ripping children away from their parents (timely reference!). My shins are swollen, purple and bloody from the thirty plus times I rammed into the trailer hitch. My hand is sliced open from the broken vase that slid out of it. I tossed once usable, once fancy furniture onto a pile with the force to damage, to eradicate any possibility of turning
the truck around and dragging these possessions back along with me. I was wasting them. They were broken with ease as if they had been kept alive by life support and just needed me to pull the plug and set them free to disintegrate into molecules and become a part of the Earth again.
I have lived for the past year out of a few suitcases and have rarely been in want for anything. When you are around other nomads, you borrow and lend. The occasional use things that you don’t need in your turtle shell. I dream of a home in NY that only contains what I can carry plus a bed. A safe bird’s nest that is only a place to replenish so I can fly.
If there’s anything I hold onto, it’s art. Art is one of the only things that exist in this just one instance. It’s the only thing you can’t get Amazon to deliver you 10 of with a drone. Art can embody time and memory of the senses like nothing else. The most poetic ends in my clean out came from art. I couldn’t leave those things at the dump, so I’ve been gifting them to the streets of LA. They are strays in the hopes of finding the right home that will give someone the memory of finding this fucking good piece of art on the street.