#59 – STUFF Mp3
first day of Christmas my true love gave to me
and a whole bunch of other stuff I didn't really need. I think I have too much 'stuff'. All my life I've been collecting 'stuff'.
Back in time, when I was in Grade School I got to work as an humble page,in the school library which was a subset of the Chatham Public Library. There I learned to shelve book according to the Dewey Decimal System and to repair books. I developed a taste for peppermint library paste. It was not harmful, being a lot like flavoured flour paste. It was used to apply leatherette to the spines of books. When they were past mending, no longer popular, or dated, guess who got her pick of the discards? Yes, me! The discards were added to my book collection.
My book collection, now the size of a small elephant, started back there. I found a second-hand store that had antique books, not really good books but interesting books because they were old. Someone's collection of sermons, in an old binding with yellowed pages, with the stamp of history upon it. You don't read it. You just collect it and I did. I got one of those.
I started in on records, 78 rpms at first and then 33 1/3rds. I collected
Gene Autry and popular jazz.
When I moved to New York I became moderately expert at finding stores
that siold 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 you're into sewing or quilting, then it's a fabric
stash and on it goes.
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 in the store's spice shelf.
They sit around for years. I have more than one spice rack where they're
all in alphabetical order. Sometimes it's useful. If I happened to need
ground cloves I can find them. Others I will never use but I had to have
them. It's called being a 'completist'. You have to have them all or the
collection is incomplete.
I was a seller, for about a year on eBay. My main stock items, aside from doll patterns that I was no longer using, were books. I did fairly 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 collector's 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 which I'll never finish. I sort of nibble away at them from time to time. That fever has passed. I no longer have to cross stitch all the time. Part of that 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. I threw the pills away and I was better in two days. <sigh>
I have a lot of cross stitch and embroidery stuff and books on the blues and music in general and books on folk music. I have a awful lot of reference books on everything from wild birds to pharmacopoeias that I got before the Internet was as popular as it now.
Now, I collect graphics from the Internet, and Mp3s which I buy legitimately on line to avoid possibly picking up nasty viruses from the free ones. I have lots and lots of software, much of which I also buy on line. 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 ice berg. The rest remains unknown to me while I just twiddle around fixing the colour balance on some photograph or some other simple task.
I'm trying to get rid of my stuff. I really am. One of these days I'm just going to have to bite the bullet 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 I’ve forgotten: all of that has got to go bye bye. I'm hoping to have a technical friend of mine over to look at it and tell me what it is and if it's okay to throw it out.
Just cataloging 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 don't own stuff. Stuff owns ME.
© Sonia Fricker Brock 04/20/2007
I can be reached on the web at http://www.soniabrock.com