I am in the midst of selling my co-op apartment as I prepare to embark on a cross-country move. A major part of this process is to go through all that I own and decide what can be donated, what can be recycled, what can be trashed and what makes the journey.
Some of these possessions have been around since childhood; some from adolescence; others, from early adulthood and to the present day.
It is a daunting task. I have had to touch every item I own as I open and go through every drawer, nook, cranny, envelope, folder, container, box and decide; “What is the value of this?”
The throw away and the recyclable stuff was the easiest to get rid of. The stuff for donation was the next easiest, although that’s what makes up the piles in the front and the back of the apartment. I have had a couple of friends come over and go through the denotable stuff. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure. That’s how I ended up with a majority of this stuff in the first place.
My first job when I returned to Minnesota in 1997 was working for a nonprofit that provided goods and services to the economically challenged of the Twin Cities. I certainly fit the bill at the time as I working for minimum wage of $5.15 an hour. Oh, but what “collectables” did I acquire!
As I sit on my couch now and look out at the piles across the living room into the dining room, I am first struck by the “scent” of aged, used goods. Then secondly, by the energy of all these previously owned goods piled in mass, out in the open.
This has been the most significant for me: the energy of the stuff…and the energy I am expending going through it all and then, letting it go.
For the last couple of years in Corporateland, I have had a stress knot that runs from my right gluteal up across my back into my left shoulder. After being out of that environment and starting this moving process; as I reach to get an file out of a cabinet, a box off the floor, open a drawer….whatever the movement has been, I can feel the knot, so I flex around it and exhale. In the last week I have gained range of motion as my upper body movement becomes greater.
After some time, with the toxins of the stress knot being released, the “scent” of the goods, the handling of very item, the emotional detachment that occurs…I become drained and have to take a break. I get over heated and the top of my head is a furnace. And I realize just how much negativity I am releasing by doing this purging, this letting go.
I have also come to the understand of the “stuff” concept. It’s really nothing but “stuff” and how much I have held on to that has just been holding me down. Physically. Mentally. Spiritually.
Then too, there are the jewels, the precious things of my history, things that will carry into the next phase. It re-affirming to go through all of my photographs and see my growth and development as a photographer. An excitement is building to go into my film “vault” and work once again with my negatives, only this time to digitalize them.
ok, time to get back going through stuff.