Just Stuffing

At this early stage in my blog, I realize that I haven’t yet examined my philosophical interest in the physical aspect of this quest, that is, the giving up of material things. That may seem a trivial concern when we are talking about, say, a pink-and-purple beaded skipping rope with one handle missing, but, wait a minute – is that trivial? When we are so quick to throw or give away something less-than-perfect? Is it trivial, that we may soon feel the urge to fill the empty space with something else, a newer toy perhaps? I’m not so sure.

And here is something else: Is it possible to live in a house and not fill it to the brim with stuff?  Does nature really abhor a vacuum? Must it – or we, as nature’s creatures – always rush in to fill the void, the vacant shelf, the half-filled cupboard, the empty hanger? Can a wall just be blank? (Note to self: not if my husband has anything to do with it.)

If the answers to those questions are ‘no’, ‘yes’,‘yes’ ‘no’, then can we defeat nature? Can we bend the laws of the universe, persuade our innate natures otherwise? Train ourselves out of the hoarding instinct that, once upon a time, ensured our survival, but now is outmoded and may very well lead to our extinction (if you believe Wall-e).

And what of the consequences of re-arranging our physical space? I don’t want to get all feng shui here (out of respect for its practitioners and in an acknowledgement of my own ignorance of the subject), but what happens to the energy in a space when clutter is swept away? When unused objects are put to good use elsewhere? When we are freed from the tyranny of memorabilia and the judgment of projects left undone. What happens when we deal with all those deferred decisions, like “I’ll just put these Thai scarves here on the desk until I figure out what to do with them”. And then two years pass. So what if we decided instead of living in so much limbo?

This is what I’m after here. Part of it anyway. These are the questions that interest me. It is not just stuff. Nothing in this universe is ever just stuff. Don’t believe me? Go ask a molecular physicist. Go ask a Tibetan buddhist monk. Go ask, a professional organizer, for pete’s sakes. Maybe along the way of this blogging journey, that’s just what I’ll do.


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