first day of Christmas my true love gave to me a Partridge in a Pear
Tree and a whole bunch of other stuff I didnt really need. I
think I have too much stuff. All my life Ive been collecting
Back in time,
when I was in Grade School I got to work as a humble Page in my school
library, which was a subset of the Chatham Public Library. There I
learned to repair books and shelve books according to the Dewey Decimal
System. I developed a taste for the peppermint library paste. It was
not harmful, being a lot like flavoured flour paste. I used it to
apply leatherette to book spines. When books were past mending and
no longer popular, or dated, guess who got her pick of the discards?
Yes, me! The discards were happily added to my personal book collection.
I guess you can tell I liked books ??
My book collection,
now the size of a small elephant, started back there. I found a second-hand
store that had antique books, not good books but interesting books
because they were old. Someones collection of sermons, in an
old binding with yellowed pages, with the stamp of history upon it.
You dont read it. You just collect it.
I started in on
records, 78 rpms at first and then 33 1/3rds. I collected Gene Autry
and popular jazz. Stuff, stuff, stuff! The stuff was starting to pile
up a bit.
When I moved to
New York I became moderately expert at finding stores that sold odd
things, Ethiopian crosses and strangely patterned fabrics, and so
forth. I collect fabrics because I sew. In collecting the components
of a hobby, you end up with a stash. If your hobby is knitting you
end up with a wool stash. If youre into sewing or quilting,
then its a fabric stash and on it goes.
Like my mother,
I have had multiple crafting and hobby ventures throughout my life.
I remember that one of her crazes was for shell jewellery. My mother
collected tiny little shells that came from beaches in Florida and
elsewhere. She bought a lot of these shells when she went to Florida
on vacation. They were dyed in pretty pastels pink and blue
and yellow and green. Using aeroplane glue, all are put together on
a piece of clear round plastic. This would become a rose made up of
little coloured shells with little green shell leaves. These shell
rosettes were quite attractive. Not built for the ages but while they
lasted, they were nice.
through, oh my goodness, so many hobbies. One was cloth doll making,
the components of which take in almost every art and craft, so you
end up with materials from painting, stitching, beading, weaving and
you name it. It all goes into a design and an embellished cloth dolly
comes out at the other end, a so-called art doll.
I started knitting.
I have 4 bins of wool Im unlikely to knit it all, and theres
always more wool to buy. My Stitch-and-Bitch group every now and again
has a yarn swap where everybody tries to get rid of their extra yarn,
their stash. They end up walking away with more yarn than they came
in with. Everyone has come in with their extra yarns and theyre
begging you to take their yarn and you do. Thus, instead of diminishing
my stash, I somehow increase it.
I remember collecting
spices. I use 5, at the most 10, common spices, condiments, herbs
and so forth, in my cooking. Still, I had to have them all because
some recipe someplace, sometime, would probably need fennel, so I
got some, as well as everything else featured on the stores
spice shelf. They sit around for years. I have more than one spice
rack where they all sit in alphabetical order. Sometimes they are
useful. If I happen to need ground cloves, there it is. Others I will
never use but I had to have them. Its called being a completist.
You must have them all or the collection is incomplete.
When I worked
downtown, I made more money than I needed to live on and, instead
of sensibly saving it, I would go out each lunch hour and look for
something to buy. Something to buy was usually books. I haunted the
sales tables in bookstores. I have shelves and shelves of books. Im
gradually now giving them away. I try to find out whether they are
going to good homes because books are sacred. You dont burn
them. You dont throw them away. You pass them on. Im trying
to do that.
I was a seller,
for about a year on eBay. My main stock items, aside from doll patterns
I was no longer using, were books. I did well because I had a really
large occult book collection. There are people out there in search
of a means to power who really dig this stuff. Occult magazines were
collectors items and sold well.
Speaking of magazines,
I was into cross-stitch, and I had to have all those magazines and
innumerable patterns. I have a pile of maybe ten cross-stitch projects
on the go, many of them Ill never finish. I sort of nibble away
at them from time to time. That fever has passed. I no longer need
to cross-stitch all the time. Part of that need came from a pseudo-fibromyalgia
caused by the Statin pills I was taking for blood cholesterol. They
gave me muscle weakness and pain. All I could do was sit in a corner
and cross-stitch for about nine months. Other activities were too
much. Then, I figured out it was the pills, after reading several
reports on the Internet. Sometimes Internet medical advice is correct,
not always but sometimes. I threw the pills away and I was better
in two days.
I have a lot of
cross stitch and embroidery stuff, also books on the blues and music
in general and books on folk music. I have an awful lot of reference
books on everything from wild birds to pharmacopoeias that I got before
the Internet was as popular as it is now.
Now, I collect
graphics from the Internet and Mp3s which I buy legitimately online
to avoid possibly picking up nasty viruses from the free ones. I have
lots and lots of software, much of which I also buy online. I need
an ever-increasing hard drive size to fit in all this stuff, much
of which I use once and then forget. Still, you never know when you
might need it. Software that I do use is just utilizing the tip of
the iceberg. The rest remains unknown to me while I just twiddle around
fixing the colour balance on some photograph or some other simple
to get rid of my stuff. I really am. One of these days Im just
going to have to bite the bullet and toss out all that stuff, like
the obsolete computer hardware sitting around in bins. There is a
lot of computer hardware stuff the purpose of which Ive forgotten:
all of that has got to go bye-bye. Im hoping to have a technical
friend of mine over to look at it and tell me what it is and if its
okay to throw it out.
what I have is an effort in itself. I must simplify. I must practice
non-attachment. I must get rid of all this stuff. I dont own
stuff. Stuff owns ME!