It is time to assemble too much of what I didn’t need to take back to store. It’s key to realize it’s not that I don’t need these things, but that I brought too many things, and some wrong things for this place.
I did not need:
- three pair of jeans
- motorcycle jacket
- duplicate sandals
- seven books of which I read one
- two laptops (there was a reason, but that wasn’t really a good reason)
More than that, I didn’t need the thinking that made bringing too much a good idea. That is disaster thinking, fear thinking, alternatives and fallback thinking. Life requires some self-protection and good sense, but after a point it becomes paranoid isolation and hiding.
The Sally Store (as the Salvation Army is called here) gets a bag of tshirts with threadbare collars, a pair of jeans where I’ve patched the seat a couple places, wearing-out underwear that I hope will be recycled instead of resold, and a pair of water/hiking sandals with gradually disintegrating soles. The bag is small, but will do someone some good, I hope.
It’s not hard to give up these things, and afterwards the bags pack with startling ease even with the gifts.
I wonder at these things. I have a tshirt my parents must have brought me while I was in college, the design worn and the collar I now now note fraying, but not enough to discard. Irony demands it came from Maui and features canoe regattas. Two helmets, bicycle and motorcycle, only one of which I used here. The books: The Serpent and the Rainbow I’ve had since college and still haven’t read. I’ve worn the jeans on arrival and once since. I never wore the motorcycle jacket, the single pair of dress socks. Why did I bring dress socks? As if I have matching shoes.
We become too connected to things even as we espouse a distrust of them. We are lost without our tools and need them to survive, and we are painfully conscious of this. It is very easy to grab onto something and be convinced that other thing you really want is what you hold. It can be work to let go.
The giant green duffel is far lighter as when I came. It had a stellar weight, leaden and unnavigable. Now it is only a little too heavy, like adulthood, and I am comfortable carrying it. Everything fits.