I love things.
To be more specific, I love people and their things.
When I watch tv or read books, I’m always paying close attention to how characters interact with their stuff. I’m conscious of the stuff I hold onto and the stuff I throw away.
Objects are what ground us. Because we live in these worlds in our heads and it’s such a vast, lonely wasteland there. Even on the best of days, like the first time you kiss someone, or the first time you hold your baby – you’re still the only one who knows what it feels like. You’re alone. Except for the objects that connect you.
The babies hat. Or the ring. Or the picture.
It’s not really the object that matters but the value placed there. Often it’s a shared value. That stuffed doll you loved as a child probably holds the same value to your mother. So you hang on to it.
It’s not the objects per se but the intangible togetherness that they represent.
I can’t find a good picture (IRONIC) so please enjoy this Natalee Dee cartoon.
So, I am a defender of objects. I think possessing items is important and even therapeutic. I think the concrete proof of existence is yes, painful, but bring it on right? Because it’s not all bad, this struggleling to connect and define an abstract concept like “me, you, us, them, world, we”. I find a lot of comfort in the things that that I possess, though there is a fine line between ‘possess’ and ‘own’. The concept of ownership…well, ok, that’s for another post.
Now, look, I’m not talking hoarder shit. Hoarding is a whole other business wherein someone places the objects into value instead of the other way around. Value should always go into objects – at least the objects you keep, treasure, etc.
My point is that you are more than your thoughts, you are a consumer, a creator, a keeper of objects and reminders and stories and props. The next time you find life hard or maybe are saying goodbye to a relationship, pay attention to the objects around you. Destroy them if you want but I’ve never found that very effective. Instead, I hold them (no, I don’t always keep them, in fact, I’m not very sentimental that way with much – though yes, I do have my babies’ first hospital hats still) and I think, ‘this means something. This little item I have represents a time and proves I was there. Maybe it didn’t end well, maybe I didn’t learn everything I was supposed to but fuck, I showed up.’
I showed up and I wore this dress, or I carried this doll, or I read this book. And I know someone else showed up because they tied this scarf or gave me this card or bought me this ticket.