If you haven’t watched the great George Carlin’s “Stuff” I strongly encourage you to visit youtube and partake in this masterpiece of philosophical comedy.
Last month we sold our medium sized house on Salt Spring Island and moved to one, half the size, here in Victoria. The move inspired/forced us into selling a lot of our ‘stuff’, first through an e-blast to friends, then via the local Exchange, and finally the dreaded Garage Sale. Which wasn’t dreaded at all, because the people of Salt Spring are so damn nice No scything of pointed elbows or arguments about who got there first. Just civilized bargaining and good conversation.
To say that we felt a lightening of our load would be a massive understatement. It was bloody great! As each item went out the door I felt more fleet of foot, clear in spirit and strangely more able to function in the here and now. We were about to move into 1,300 square feet and there was going to be no room for anything that wasn’t essential or deeply loved. I said goodbye to not only things from the house but much from my studio, I even stripped my art out of its glazed housing—selling 400 frames in two days.
Arriving in Victoria, the ‘stuff’ we brought with us had a common bond, it’s innate attachment to us and ours to it. Not because it had been handed on in years long gone or because we’d bought it before being suffused with some vague notion of buyers remorse, but because it had meaning—aesthetic or personal.
In those first two days, as we started fitting things into position, we couldn’t believe how perfectly the jigsaw puzzle came together. Everything seemed to have a place and purpose. Our ‘scorched earth’ policy of stuff reduction had been fully validated.
Because we have so much less now, the things in this new home seem to make more sense than they ever did before. The house has become functional, in the best sense of the word. We want for nothing, and we have horrid little smug grins on our faces. And to keep the status quo, we have instigated a new hard and fast rule—if something comes in, something has to go out.
Thank you George, you are a bloody genius.
PS The cats did even better than we did—they managed to make the move totally sans stuff.