I’ve been trying to downsize for years. I’ve had my share of yard sales. I’m not very good at them and tend to flail around wondering how to lay out the merchandise.
During and after my move from Maine to Michigan I went through books and papers that I hadn’t seen in decades! “Experts” advise throwing out such things without looking carefully at them, saying that if you haven’t needed them by now, you can live without them!
Certainly I have disposed of college papers and tests, giving them only a quick glance. But reading reflections that I wrote during the Women’s Movement and when I was immersed in workshops on white racism, has helped me in the “life review” that is one of the tasks of aging. Those reflections have also inspired me to share some of my inner experiences with a wider audience.
I am challenged by the man who wanted to build bigger barns in Luke 12:13-21. It’s easy to keep one’s distance in thinking about this parable because very few of us depend on crops for our livelihood, and perhaps there are some reading this who have never seen a barn!
Comedian Steven Wright quipped: “You can’t have everything. Where would you put it?” and George Carlin observed that the “A house is just a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff.”
We have garages that are too full of stuff to have room for our cars, storage lockers we rent to contain more stuff, and cloud backups of all sorts of technical stuff.
The “stuff” I want to preserve is my writing and the books that have inspired me. When I lose some part of that I feel like I have lost part of my life. That is where I feel vulnerable, but isn’t that the same as the farmer and his barn? Both he and I want to preserve the tools and results of our work!
What “stuff” do you have where the idea of losing it makes you feel threatened?