I’ve been sorting through my “stuff.” It’s time-consuming and emotional. I pick something up, look at it, and drift off into a reverie. Twenty minutes pass and I still can’t remember why I was saving the puka bead shell necklace.
I try it on and conclude it is hideously ugly. Can I take it apart and repurpose the shells? For what? Will it decompose in a landfill? I hope so.
Next up is a portrait of someone’s mother, aunt, or benefactress, circa 1959. I bought it for ten dollars at a flea market. At that time, it was trendy to hang odd portraits that might pass for a thinning blood relation. My portrait would be my “Aunt Hermione.”
It never worked in The Coop, so I brought it to my office at The Big Corporation Up The Road. My cubicle was three times the size of my current cubicle and it needed something. Aunt Hermione would do.
Until she didn’t.
I grew tired of Aunt Hermione’s steel gray eyes and her dour disdain for life as she looked over at me during the work day. She wanted no part of the corporate gig. I discovered the Exacto knife and things changed for Aunt Hermione. I put a little button from college on her collar; it said “It’s not a crime to be ugly…yet.”
We all had a little bit of fun at Aunt Hermione’s expense and then she went back up on the wall. It was pre-digital camera days, so there is no evidence. When I left The Big Corporation Up The Road, I took Aunt Hermione with me and she’s been on the spare bedroom wall until today.
I have a lot of thoughts about the endless stream of stuff I’ve collected in my adult life. I think I have less stuff that some, but more stuff than others. I am guilty of thinking stuff could change my life and being subject to trends in stuff. These days, I want less new stuff that has to be shipped here in container ships from far away. I like the Depression-era philosophy of “use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”
I’ll have more to say about stuff as I continue sorting through all these things, but today will be a quiet day, in memory of Aunt Hermione. This morning, she went to her eternal rest inside the dumpster coffin.
Rest in peace, Aunt Hermione.