Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Yesterday I watched, Unknown White Male, a documentary about a young man who 'woke up' on the NYC subway and realized he had no idea who he was. Not the best documentary I'd ever seen, but it did make me think thoughts I'd never thought before, rather like a brain tickle.

One part stood out hugely to me. This young man had returned to Paris where, in a small attic, he'd stored his belongings years prior. And as he sat there going through boxes and piles of stuff, he realized he'd been a pack rat. But now? Because he had no memories of those boxes and since his lack of memories had made him into a different person, well, he just looked at all the junk and felt separated from it. Basically, all those 'treasures' meant nothing to him.

And that scene struck me because recently I've wondered at how easily I'm able to get rid of stuff, things I'd planned years ago never to part with. But now it makes sense--I'm a different person than I was back then. Or greatly changed, anyway. And I can now view all this stuff rather dispassionately and fling it out to the big world (otherwise known as Salvation Army). I mean, we're talking over 600 books and large bags of clothes and myriad knick-knacks and fabric, dishes and magazines. Stuff I'd bought delightedly... stuff I'd collected, believing it would help me 'keep up' with others and aid my insecurities.

It's a Good Thing, I think. As I've tried to cooperate with God while He's attempted to change me these past 13 years, especially, I've noticed much of the changing is all about letting go. Letting go of the past--its (or rather, my) failures and non-willingness to forgive. Letting go of how I believe everything and everyone should be. Letting go of always having to be right and having to voice my opinions... and having to teach everyone, everywhere, all the time, wherever I go.

Well, all of that and much, much more.

Anyway, I'm glad I watched that documentary yesterday. It's gonna make storing away the pieces of my life easier. And besides, they are just pieces--not the whole. I am not my stuff. Most of my Real Life is on the inside of me and cannot be packed away in any box.


***

"Never say never..."

"Travel lightly..."

3 comments:

Paige said...

these are thoughts I have had lately. What does this "stuff" mean? How does it make me a better person? I'm trying to be more selective in what I purchase and why I purchase it.
but my photos-that's a whole different ballgame

and I love the state that prays together. Those of us across the nation should add our prayers to there’s
Expect a miracle

Judy said...

Good for you!

It will make moving SO much easier.

I dare not get rid of much right now. I can just hear my sons and husband saying 'you made us drag all of this over here and NOW you are getting rid of it?'

Yes. I must choose the right time, and choose it carefully!

You are much on my mind lately, Debra. I hope things go well with the sale of your home.

elizabeth said...

My dear Mom used to say, "Wear the things of this world lightly." Tis true...when she left us, there was basically nothing of value left. But because I had the misfortune of having to live far away from her most all my married life, I am the ones with lots of letters from her. It is like a long overdue visit on those ocassions when I bring them out to look at. I actually threw out most of what she wrote, because she wrote several times a week usually...and I would have needed a room to store that much in. But I kept ones that are special to me, tell funny stories etc. She was often telling me things that happened and it was often funny. I miss her so. But it is temporary. I am temporary. We are all temporary. We must keep our sight on that great City we are headed towards...the day will come we will never more be separated!!