Remember that you are dust....
Me? I don't feel so thankful. Perhaps I am a morbid sort, more preoccupied with thoughts of my own mortality than I should be. It started when I was about six years old, and I first realized that my parents would die some day; my sadness over the brutal fact of death has remained with me. Having children has made that sadness all the more acute.
What does this have to do with the Seven Things Project? Startlingly, a lot. I think that one of the reasons I cling to my stuff with such ferocity is that on some subconscious level I think I can hang onto life - all the lost life behind me, all the time already gone. The baby clothes that belonged to my sweet boys? Maybe if I keep the clothes the boys will be fat little babies again some day. The shoes my mother gave me that were hers before she became paralyzed and no longer could wear them (since her feet have swelled to a much larger size), but that have never fit me? Perhaps if I keep them she will walk again some day. The answering machine I have not used or needed for six years, but that has a single message still on it, from my grandmother (who died five years ago), from July 2000, on the event of my engagement, calling to say she wished us "a world of happiness"? Maybe if I hang on to that recording, she will somehow come back.
Irrational, all of it, I know this. Re-reading my words right now, I see it makes no sense at all. There is no going back. Time always races inexorably to the future. Hanging on to bits of the past does not change that, and cannot. I am dust, all of this is dust, and my holding on to so much stuff does not change those facts, it only props up my own illusions.
This is very close to the heart of the issue of stuff for me, or maybe it is the heart. Death, grief, time. Stuff is my defense.
Is getting rid of seven things a week (or thereabouts) changing anything for me? I don't know. For now I guess it's mostly just forcing me to confront my own illusions, and to deal more squarely with my grief over things that cannot be changed.
All of this feels rather intimate and vulnerable and raw to be putting out into cyberspace. But this little project of mine was never meant to be just a random series of Saturday Sevens - it was intended to be an experiment and an exploration, a true grappling with what is going on with me and my things. And the stuff I've written here tonight - it's a true grappling, for sure.